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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand 
eight hundred and forty- nine, by 

Harper & Brothers, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District 
of New York. 


The author of this series has made it his spe- 
cial object to confine himself very strictly, even 
in the most minute details which he records, to 
historic truth. The narratives are not tales 
founded upon history, but history itself, without 
any embellishment or any deviations from the 
strict truth, so far as it can now be discovered 
by an attentive examination of the annals writ- 
ten at the time when the events themselves oc- 
curred. In writing the narratives, the author 
has endeavored to avail himself of the best 
sources of information which this country af- 
fords ; and though, of course, there must be 
in these volumes, as in all historical accounts, 
more or less of imperfection and error, there is 
no intentional embellishment. Nothing is stat- 
ed, not even the most minute and apparently 

viii Preface. 

imaginary details, without what was deemed 
good historical authority. The readers, there- 
lore, may rely upon the record as the truth, and 
nothing but the truth, so far as an honest pur- 
pose and a careful examination has been effect- 
ual in ascertaining it. 


Chapter P:i K e 

i. Elizabeth's mother 13 







vni. Elizabeth's lovers 161 







portrait of drake Frontispiece. 

portrait of henry vim 16 

portrait of anne boleyn 20 

group of christening gifts 25 

tower of london 31 

portrait of edward vi 44 

lady jane grey at study 63 

portrait of philip of spain 84 

elizabeth in the tower 112 

Elizabeth's progress to london 135 

the frith of forth, with leith and edin- 
burgh in the distance 156 

leicester 1 69 

the barges on the river 182 

portrait of queen elizaeeth 203 

the invincible armada 229 

the house of the earl of essex 242 

elizabeth in her last hours 270 

head of james 1 275 

Elizabeth's tomb 279 


Chapter I. 
Elizabeth's Mother. 

Greenwich. The hospital. 

F I TRAVELERS, in ascending the Thames 
-*- by the steamboat from Rotterdam, on 
their return from an excursion to the Rhine, 
have often their attention strongly attracted by 
what appears to be a splendid palace on the 
banks of the river at Greenwich. The edifice 
is not a palace, however, but a hospital, or, 
rather, a retreat where the worn out, maimed, 
and crippled veterans of the English navy spend 
the remnant of their days in comfort and peace, 
on pensions allowedthem by the government in 
whose service they have spent their strength 
or lost their limbs. The magnificent buildings 
of the hospital stand on level land near the river. 
Behind them there is a beautiful park, which 
extends over the undulating and rising ground 
in the rear ; and on the summit of one of the 
eminences there is the famous Greenwich Ob- 

14 Queen Elizabeth. [1533. 

Greenwich Observatory. Maimer of taking time 

servatory, on the precision of whose quadrants 
and micrometers depend those calculations by 
which the navigation of the world is guided. 
The most unconcerned and careless spectator 
is interested in the manner in which the ships 
which throng the river all the way from Green- 
wich to London, "take their time" from this 
observatory before setting sail for distant seas. 
From the top of a cupola surmounting the edi- 
fice, a slender pole ascends, with a black ball upon 
it, so constructed as to slide up and down for a 
few feet upon the pole. When the hour of 12 M. 
approaches, the ball slowly rises to within a few 
inches of the top, warning the ship-masters in 
the river to be ready with their chronometers, 
to observe and note the precise instant of its 
fall. When a few seconds only remain of the 
time, the ball ascends the remainder of the dis- 
tance by a very deliberate motion, and then 
drops suddenly when the instant arrives. The 
ships depart on their several destinations, and 
for months afterward when thousands of miles 
away, they depend for their safety in dark and 
stormy nights, and among dangerous reefs and 
rocky shores, on the nice approximation to cor- 
rectness in the note of time which this descend- 
ing ball had given them. 


1533. J Elizabeth's Mother. 17 

Henry the Eighth. His character. His six wives. 

This is Greenwich, as it exists at the present 
day. At the time when the events occurred 
which are to be related in this narrative, it was 
most known on account of a royal palace which 
was situated there. This palace was the resi- 
dence of the then queen consort of England. 
The king reigning at that time was Henry the 
Eighth. He was an unprincipled and cruel 
tyrant, and the chief business of his life seem- 
ed to be selecting and marrying new queens, 
making room for each succeeding one by dis- 
carding, divorcing, or beheading her predeces- 
sor. There were six of them in all, and, with 
one exception, the history of each one is a dis- 
tinct and separate, but dreadful tragedy. As 
there were so many of them, and they figured 
as queens each for so short a period, they are 
commonly designated in history by their per- 
sonal family names, and even in these names 
there is a great similarity. There were three 
Catharines, two Amies, and a Jane. The only 
one who lived and died in peace, respected and 
beloved to the end, was the Jane. 

Queen Elizabeth, the subject of this narra- 
tive, was the daughter of the second wife in this 
strange succession, and her mother was one of 
the Annes. Her name in full was Anne Bo- 

18 Queen Elizabeth. [1533. 

Anne Boleyn. Catharine of Arngon. Henry discards her. 

leyn. She was young and very beautiful, and 
Henry, to prepare the way for making her his 
wife, divorced his first queen, or rather declared 
his marriage with her null and void, because 
she had been, before he married her, the wife 
of his brother. Her name was Catharine of 
Aragon. She was, while connected with him, 
a faithful, true, and affectionate wife. She was 
a Catholic. The Catholic rules are very strict 
in respect to the marriage of relatives, and a 
special dispensation from the pope was neces- 
sary to authorize marriage in such a case as 
that of Henry and Catharine. This dispensa- 
tion had, however, been obtained, and Catharine 
had, in reliance upon it, consented to become 
Henry's wife. When, however, she was no 
longer young and beautiful, and Henry had be- 
come enamored of Anne Boleyn, who was so, 
he discarded Catharine, and espoused the beau- 
tiful girl in her stead. He wished the pope to 
annul his dispensation, which would, of course, 
annul the marriage ; and because the pontiff 
refused, and all the efforts of Henry's govern- 
ment were unavailing to move him, he aban- 
doned the Catholic faith, and established an in- 
dependent Protestant church in England, whose 
supreme authority would annul the marriage. 

Portrait of Anne Boleyn. 

1533.] Elizabeth's Mother. 21 

Origin of the English Church. Henry marries Anne Boleyn. 

Thus, in a great measure, came the Reforma- 
tion in England. The Catholics reproach us, 
and, it must be confessed, with some justice, 
with the ignominiousness of its origin. 

The course which things thus took created a 
great deal of delay in the formal annulling of 
the marriage with Catharine, which Henry was 
too impatient and imperious to bear. He would 
not wait for the decree of divorce, but took Anne 
Boleyn for his wife before his previous connec- 
tion was made void. He said he was privately 
married to her. This he had, as he maintained, 
a right to do, for he considered his first mar- 
riage as void, absolutely and of itself, without 
any decree. When, at length, the decree was 
finally passed, he brought Anne Boleyn forward 
as his queen, and introduced her as such to En- 
gland and to the world by a genuine marriage 
and a most magnificent coronation. The peo- 
ple of England pitied poor Catharine, but they 
joined very cordially, notwithstanding, in wel- 
coming the youthful and beautiful lady who 
was to take her place. All London gave itself 
up to festivities and rejoicings on the occasion 
of these nuptials. Immediately after this the 
young queen retired to her palace in Greenwich, 
and in two or three months afterward little 

22 Queen Elizabeth. [1533. 

Birth of Elizabeth. Ceremony of christening. 

Elizabeth was born. Her birth-day was the 
7th of September, 1533. 

The mother may have loved the babe, but 
Henry himself was sadly disappointed that his 
child was not a son. Notwithstanding her sex, 
however, she was a personage of great distinc- 
tion from her very birth, as all the realm looked 
upon her as heir to the crown. Henry was 
himself, at this time, very fond of Anne Bo- 
leyn, though his feelings afterward were entire- 
ly changed. He determined on giving to the 
infant a very splendid christening. The usage 
in the Church of England is to make the chris- 
tening of a child not merely a solemn religious 
ceremony, but a great festive occasion of con- 
gratulations and rejoicing. The unconscious 
subject of the ceremony is taken to the church. 
Certain near and distinguished friends, gentle- 
men and ladies, appear as godfathers and god- 
mothers, as they are termed, to the child. They, 
in the ceremony, are considered as presenting 
the infant for consecration to Christ, and as be- 
coming responsible for its future initiation into 
the Christian faith. They are hence sometimes 
called sponsors. These sponsors are supposed 
to take, from the time of the baptism forward, 
a strong interest in all that pertains to the wel- 

1533. J Elizabeth's Mother. 23 

Baptism of Elizabeth. Grand procession. 

fare of their little charge, and they usually man- 
ifest this interest by presents on the day of the 
christening. These things are all conducted 
with considerable ceremony and parade in ordi- 
nary cases, occurring in private life ; and when 
a princess is to be baptized, all, even the most 
minute details of the ceremony, assume a great 
importance, and the whole scene becomes one 
of great pomp and splendor. 

The babe, in this case, was conveyed to the 
church in a grand procession. The mayor and 
other civic authorities in London came down 
to Greenwich in barges, tastefully ornamented, 
to join in the ceremony. The lords and ladies 
of King Henry's court were also there, in at- 
tendance at the palace. When all were assem- 
bled, and every thing was ready, the procession 
moved from the palace to the church with great 
pomp. The road, all the way, was carpeted 
with green rushes, spread upon the ground. 
Over this road the little infant was borne by 
one of her godmothers. She was wrapped in 
a mantle of purple velvet, with a long train ap- 
pended to it, which was trimmed with ermine, 
a very costly kind of fur, used in England as a 
badge of authority. This train was borne by 
lords and ladies of high rank, who were appoint- 

24 Queen Elizabeth. [1533. 

Train-bearers. The church. The silver font. 

ed for the purpose by the king, and who deemed 
their office a very distinguished honor. Besides 
these train-bearers, there were four lords, who 
walked two on each side of the child, and who 
held over her a magnificent cajiopy. Other per- 
sonages of high rank and station followed, bear- 
ing various insignia and emblems, such as by 
the ancient customs of England are employed 
on these occasions, and all dressed sumptuous- 
ly in gorgeous robes, and wearing the badges 
and decorations pertaining to their rank or the 
offices they held. Vast crowds of spectators 
lined the way, and gazed upon the scene. 

On arriving at the church, they found the in- 
terior splendidly decorated for the occasion. Its 
walls were lined throughout with tapestry, and 
in the center was a crimson canopy, under which 
was placed a large silver font, containing the 
water with which the child was to be baptized. 
The ceremony was performed by Cranmer, the 
archbishop of Canterbury, which is the office 
of the highest dignitary of the English Church. 
After it was performed, the procession returned 
as it came, only now there was an addition of 
four persons of high rank, who followed the child 
with the presents intended for her by the god- 
fathers and godmothers. These presents con- 

The Christening Gifts. 

1533.] Elizabeth's Mother. 27 

The presents. Name of the infant princess. 

sisted of cups and bowls, of beautiful workman- 
ship, some of silver gilt, and some of solid gold. 
They were very costly, though not prized much 
yet by the unconscious infant for whom they 
were intended. She went and came, in the 
midst of this gay and joyous procession, little 
imagining into what a restless and unsatisfying 
life all this pageantry and splendor was usher- 
ing her. 

They named the child Elizabeth, from her 
grandmother. There have been many queens 
of that name, but Queen Elizabeth of England 
became so much more distinguished than any 
other, that that name alone has become her usu- 
al designation. Her family name was Tudor. 
As she was never married — for, though her life 
was one perpetual scene of matrimonial schemes 
and negotiations, she lived and died a maiden 
lady — she has been_sometimes called the Virgin 
Queen, and one of the states of this Union, Vir- 
ginia, receives its name from this designation 
of Elizabeth. She is also often familiarly called 
Queen Bess. 

Making little Elizabeth presents of gold and 
silver plate, and arranging splendid pageants 
for her, were not the only plans for her aggran- 
dizement which were formed during the period 

28 Queen Elizabeth. [1536. 

Elizabeth made Princess of Wales. Matrimonial schemes. 

of her infantile unconsciousness. The king, her 
father, first had an act of Parliament passed, 
solemnly recognizing and confirming her claim 
as heir to the crown, and the title of Princess of 
Wales was formally conferred upon her. When 
these things were done, Henry began to consid- 
er how he could best promote his own political 
schemes by forming an engagement of marriage 
for her, and, when she was only about two years 
of age, he offered her to the King of France as 
the future wife of one of his sons, on certain 
conditions of political service which he wished 
him to perform. But the King of France would 
not accede to the terms, and so this plan was 
abandoned. Elizabeth was, however, notwith- 
standing this failure, an object of universal in- 
terest and attention, as the daughter of a very 
powerful monarch, and the heir to his crown. 
Her life opened with very bright and serene 
prospects of future greatness ; but all these pros- 
pects were soon apparently cut off by a very 
heavy cloud which arose to darken her sky. 
This cloud was the sudden and dreadful fall 
and ruin of her mother. 

Queen Anne Boleyn was originally a maid 
of honor to Queen Catharine, and became ac- 
quainted with King Henry and gained his af- 

1536. J Elizabeth's Mo the r. 29 

Jane Seymour. The tournament. The king's suspicions 

feotions while she was acting in that capacity. 
When she became queen herself, she had, of 
course, her own maids of honor, and among 
them was one named Jane Seymour. Jane 
was a beautiful and accomplished lady, and in 
the end she supplanted her mistress and queen 
in Henry's affections, just as Anne herself had 
supplanted Catharine. The king had removed 
Catharine to make way for Anne, by annulling 
his marriage with her on account of their rela- 
tionship : what way could he contrive now to 
remove Anne, so as to make way for Jane ? 

He began to entertain, or to pretend to en- 
tertain, feelings of jealousy and suspicion that 
Anne was unfaithful to him. One day, at a 
sort of tournament in the park of the royal pal- 
ace at Greenwich, when a great crowd of gayly- 
dressed ladies and gentlemen were assembled 
to witness the spectacle, the queen dropped her 
handkerchief. A gentleman whom the kinof had 
suspected of being one of her favorites picked it 
up. He did not immediately restore it to her. 
There was, besides, something in the air and 
manner of the gentleman, and in the attendant 
circumstances of the case, which the king's mind 
seized upon as evidence of criminal gallantry 
between the parties. He was, or at least pre- 

30 Queen Elizabeth. [1536. 

Queen Anne arrested. She is eent to the Tower: 

tended to be, in a great rage. He left the field 
immediately and went to London. The tour- 
nament was broken up in confusion, the queen 
was seized by the king's orders, conveyed to her 
palace in Greenwich, and shut up in her cham- 
ber, with a lady who had always been her rival 
and enemy to guard her. She was in great 
consternation and sorrow, but she declared most 
solemnly that she was innocent of any crime, 
and had always been true and faithful to the 

The next day she was taken from her palace 
at Greenwich up the river, probably in a barge 
well guarded by armed men, to the Tower of 
London. The Tower is an ancient and very ex- 
tensive castle, consisting of a great number of 
buildings inclosed within a high wall. It is in 
the lower part of London, on the bank of the 
Thames, with a flight of stairs leading down to 
the river from a great postern gate. The un- 
happy queen was landed at these stairs and con- 
veyed into the castle, and shut up in a gloomy 
apartment, with walls of stone and windows 
barricaded with strong bars of iron. There 
were four or five gentlemen, attendants upon 
the queen in her palace at Greenwich, whom 
the king suspected, or pretended to suspect, of 

1536.] Elizabeth's Mother. 33 

Sufferings of the queen. Her mental distress. 

being her accomplices in crime, that were ar- 
rested at the same time with her and closely 

When the poor queen was introduced into 
her dungeon, she fell on her knees, and, in an 
agony of terror and despair, she implored God 
to help her in this hour of her extremity, and 
most solemnly called him to witness that she 
was innocent of the crime imputed to her charge. 
Seeking thus a refuge in God calmed and com- 
posed her in some small degree ; but when, 
again, thoughts of the imperious and implacable 
temper of her husband came over her, of the 
impetuousness of his passions, of the certainty 
that he wished her removed out of the way in 
order that room might be made for her rival, 
and then, when her distracted mind turned to 
the forlorn and helpless condition of her little 
daughter Elizabeth ^now scarcely three years 
old, her fortitude and self-possession forsook her 
entirely ; she sank half insane upon her bed, in 
long and uncontrollable paroxysms of sobs and 
tears, alternating with still more uncontroll- 
able and frightful bursts of hysterical laugh- 

The king sent a commission to take her ex- 
amination. At the same time, he urged her, 

34 Queen Elizabeth. [1536. 

Examination of Anne. Her letter to the king. 

by the persons whom he sent, to confess her 
guilt, promising her that, if she did so, her life 
should be spared. She, however, protested her 
innocence with the utmost firmness and con- 
stancy. She begged earnestly to be allowed to 
see the king, and, when this was refused, she 
wrote a letter to him, which still remains, and 
which expresses very strongly the acuteness of 
her mental sufferings. 

In this letter, she said that she was so dis- 
tressed and bewildered by the king's displeas- 
ure and her imprisonment, that she hardly 
knew what to think or to say. She assured 
him that she had always been faithful and true 
to him, and begged that he would not cast an 
indelible stain upon her own fair fame and that 
of her innocent and helpless child by such un- 
just and groundless imputations. She begged 
him to let her have a fair trial by impartial per- 
sons, who would weigh the evidence against her 
in a just and equitable manner. She was sure 
that by this course her innocence would be es- 
tablished, and he himself, and all mankind, 
would see that she had been most unjustly ac- 

But if, on the other hand, she added, the king 
had determined on her destruction, in order to 

1536.] Elizabeth's Mother. 35 

Anne's fellow-prisoners. They are executed. 

remove an obstacle in the way of his possession 
of a new object of love, she prayed that God 
would forgive him and all her enemies for so 
great a sin, and not call him to account for it 
at the last day. She urged him, at all events, 
to spare the lives of the four gentlemen who 
had been accused, as she assured him they were 
wholly innocent of the crime laid to their charge, 
begging him, if he had ever loved the name of 
Anne Boleyn, to grant this her last request. 
She signed her letter his " most loyal and ever 
faithful wife," and dated it from her "doleful 
prison in the Tower." 

The four gentlemen were promised that their 
lives should be spared if they would confess their 
guilt. One of them did, accordingly, admit his 
guilt, and the others persisted to the end in firm- 
ly denying it. They who think Anne Boleyn 
was innocent, suppose that the one who con- 
fessed did it as the most likely mode of avert- 
ing destruction, as men have often been known, 
under the influence of fear, to confess crimes 
of which it was afterward proved they could 
not have been guilty. If this was his motive, 
it was of no avail. The four persons accused, 
after a very informal trial, in which nothing was 
really proved against them, were condemned, 

36 Queen Elizabeth. [1536. 

Anne tried and condemned. She protests her innocence. 

apparently to please the king, and were execu- 
ted together. 

Three days after this the queen herself was 
brought to trial before the peers. The number 
of peers of the realm in England at this time 
was fifty-three. Only twenty-six were present 
at the trial. The king is charged with making 
such arrangements as to prevent the attendance 
of those who would be unwilling to pass sen- 
tence of condemnation. At any rate, those who 
did attend professed to be satisfied of the guilt 
of the accused, and they sentenced her to be 
burned, or to be beheaded, at the pleasure of the 
king. He decided that she should be beheaded. 

The execution was to take place in a little 
green area within the Tower. The platform 
was erected here, and the block placed upon it, 
the whole being covered with a black cloth, as 
usual on such occasions. On the morning of 
the fatal day, Anne sent for the constable of 
the Tower to come in and receive her dying 
protestations that she was innocent of the crimes 
alleged against her. She told him that she un- 
derstood that she was not to die until 12 o'clock, 
and that she was sorry for it, for she wished to 
have it over. The constable told her the pain 
would be very slight and momentary. "Yes," 

1536.] Elizabeth's Mother. 37 

Anne's execution. Disposition of the body. 

she rejoined, " I am told that a very skillful 
executioner is provided, and my neck is very 

At the appointed hour she was led out into 
the court-yard where the execution was to take 
place. There were about twenty persons pres- 
ent, all officers of state or of the city of London. 
The bodily suffering attendant upon the execu- 
tion was very soon over, for the slender neck 
was severed at a single blow, and probably all 
sensibility to pain immediately ceased. Still, 
the lips and the eyes were observed to move 
and quiver for a few seconds after the separa- 
tion of the head from the body. It was a relief, 
however, to the spectators when this strange 
and unnatural prolongation of the mysterious 
functions of life came to an end. 

No coffin had been provided. They found, 
however, an old wooden chest, made to contain 
arrows, lying in one of the apartments of the 
tower, which they used instead. They first 
laid the headless trunk within it, and then ad- 
justed the dissevered head to its place, as if 
vainly attempting to repair the irretrievable in- 
jury they had done. ■ They hurried the body, 
thus enshrined, to its burial in a chapel, which 
was also within the Tower, doing all with such 

38 Queen Elizabeth. [1536. 

The king's brutality. Elizabeth's forlorn condition. 

dispatch that the whole was finished before the 
clock struck twelve ; and the next day the un- 
feeling monster who was the author of this dread- 
ful deed was publicly married to his new favor- 
ite, Jane Seymour. 

The king had not merely procured Anne's 
personal condemnation ; he had also obtained a 
decree annulling his marriage with her, on the 
ground of her having been, as he attempted 
to prove, previously affianced to another man. 
This was, obviously, a mere pretense. The ob- 
ject was to cut off Elizabeth's rights to inherit 
the crown, by making his marriage with her 
mother void. Thus was the little princess left 
motherless and friendless when only three years 

1536.] Childhood of a Princess. 39 

Elizabeth's condition at the death of her mother. Her residence. 

Chapter II. 

The Childhood of a Princess. 

TT^LIZABETH was about three years old at 
-*— * the death of her mother. She was a prin- 
cess, but she was left in a very forlorn and des- 
olate condition. She was not, however, entirely 
abandoned. Her claims to inherit the crown 
had been set aside, but then she was, as all ad- 
mitted, the daughter of the king, and she must, 
of course, be the object of a certain degree of 
consideration and ceremony. It would be en- 
tirely inconsistent with the notions of royal dig- 
nity which then prevailed to have her treated 
like an ordinary child. 

She had a residence assigned her at a place 
called Hunsdon, and was put under the charge 
of a governess whose name was Lady Bryan. 
There is an ancient letter from Lady Bryan, 
still extant, which was written to one of the 
king's officers about Elizabeth, explaining her 
destitute condition, and asking for a more suit- 
able supply for her wants. It may entertain 
the reader to see this relic, which not only illus- 

40 Q,ueen Elizabeth. [1536. 

Letter of Lady Bryan, Elizabeth's governess. 

trates our little heroine's condition, but also 
shows how great the changes are which our lan- 
guage has undergone within the last three hund- 
red years. The letter, as here given, is abridg- 
ed a little from the original : 

3$tg 5Lor& : 

JEEHjcn gour Hortrsljfp bias last ijcrr, ft pleaseto 
gou to sag tbat £ sboulti not be mistrustful of tJje 2tfno.*s 
CKrace, nor of gout S.or'Osbfp, toftfcj) toorli Urns of jjrcat com= 
fort to me, anO embottjcnctb me note to speatt mg poor mfnn. 

Ttfoto so ft fs, mi? 2,orU, tljat nig 2LaTn> 3Elf;abetb fs put 
from t|)2 tretjrce sfje teas afore, ant toftat ocflree sfte fs at 
note* £ ftnobj not but b» bcarsag. STbcrefore £ Knob) not 
bom to orUcr ber, nor mgsclf, nor none of bers tbat £ babe 
tbe rule of— tbat is, \x% toomen ano ber grooms. 33ut £ be= 
seecb gou to be qooTj, mg JLorO, to bcr anU to all bers, anti to 
let bcr babe some ragmcnt ; for sbe bas ncftbcr goton, nor 
fefrtlc, nor no manner of Ifncu, nor foresmocfts, nor bercbfefs, 
nor slccbes, nor rails, nor bonnstftcbcts, nor mufflers, nor 
bfflQins. £111 tljcse bcr ©race's toants K babe fcrfben off as 
long, as £ can, bg mg trotb, but J: can not ang longer. 33e= 
seccbfnfl gou, mg 3Lorij, tbat gou mill sec tbat bcr CSrace 
mag babe tljat fs ncetjful for ber, anti tbat £ mag fenoui from 
gou, fn mrftfuQ, bob) £ sball ortrer mgself totoartts bcr, anti 
tobatebcr is tbe King's Grace's pleasure auo gours, fn cberg 
tbtnfl, tljat £■ sball tro. 

fiJg 3LorH i^r. Sbeltou boouifl Ijabc mg aatrg Klfjabctb 
to tune autr sup at tljc boarti of estate. Silas, mg JLortJ, ft 
fs not meet for a cbilt) of ber age to Itccp sucb rule get. it 
promise gou, mg SLortJ, X Dare not tafte upon me to fteep 

* That is, in what light the king and the government wish 
In have her regarded, and how they wish her to be treated. 

1536.] Childhood of a Princess. 41 

Conclusion of letter. Troubles and trials of infancy. 

fier fn ficaltfi anU slje itcejp tljat rule ; for tljcrc slje sljall see 
tubers meats, anti fruits, anK bancs, tolnclj tooulU be ftarti 
for me to restrain ijer ©race from ft. "STou ttnoto, m£ 2Lorti, 
there Is ho place of correction* tljerc, anti slje is get too 
joung to correct greatly. £ ftnobj tocll, anU slje be there, £ 
sftall neber bring her tip to the Ainu's trace's honor nor 
hers, nor to her health, nor my poor honesty, therefore, 
K beseech you, my Hortr, that my ILaTiy man babe a mess 
of meat to her oton lodging, untb a jjooti tffsh or ttoo that is 
meet for her ©race to cat of. 

.Pty Hafcy hath Ifitctofse great pain bntb her teett), antr 
they come bery sloVulu forth, anti this causcth me to suffer 
her ©race to ijabc her bull more than £ tooulti. K trust to 
©otr, anti her teeth mere bjcll graft, to babe her ©race after 
another fashion than slje ts yet, so as £ trust the Sling's 
©race shall babe great comfort in ijer ©race ; for slje is as 
totoarti a chtttr, anti as gentle of contritions, as cber E ftneto 
any in my life. $esu prcscrbc her ©race. 

©ooti my 2Loro, babe mi) SLatry's ©race, anH us tljat lie 
her poor scrbants, in jour remembrance. 

This letter evinces that strange mixture of 
state and splendor with discomfort and destitu- 
tion, which prevailed very extensively in royal 
households in those early times. A part of the 
privation which Elizabeth seems, from this let- 
ter, to have endured, was doubtless owing to the 
rough manners of the day ; but there is no doubt 
that she was also, at least for a time, in a neg- 
lected and forsaken condition. The new queen, 
Jane Seymour, who succeeded Elizabeth's moth- 

* Thai, is, opportunity for correction. 

42 Queen Elizabeth. [1540. 

Birth of Edward. The king reconciled to his daughters. 

er, had a son a year or two after her marriage. 
He was named Edward. Thus Henry had 
three children, Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward, 
each one the child of a different wife ; and the 
last of them, the son, appears to have monopo- 
lized, for a time, the king's affection and care. 
• Still, the hostility which the king had felt for 
these queens in succession was owing, as has 
been already said, to his desire to remove them 
out of his way, that he might be at liberty to 
marry again ; and so, after the mothers were, 
one after another, removed, the hostility itself, 
so far as the children were concerned, gradually 
subsided, and the king began to look both upon 
Mary and Elizabeth with favor again. He 
even had some plans for marrying Elizabeth to 
persons of distinction in foreign countries, and 
he entered into some negotiations for this pur- 
pose. He had a decree passed, too, at last, re- 
versing the sentence by which the two princess- 
es were cut off" from an inheritance of the crown. 
Thus they were restored, during their father's 
life, to their proper rank as royal princesses. 

At last the king died in 1547, leaving only 
these three children, each one the child of a dif- 
ferent wife. Mary was a maiden lady, of about 
thirty-one years of age. She was a stern, aus- 


1545.] Childhood of a Princess. 45 

Death of King Henry. His children. 

tere, hard-hearted woman, whom nobody loved. 
She was the daughter of King Henry's first wife, 
Catharine of Aragon, and, like her mother, was 
a decided Catholic. 

Next came Elizabeth, who was about four- 
teen years of age. She was the daughter of 
the king's second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn. 
She had been educated a Protestant. She was 
not pretty, but was a very lively and sprightly 
child, altogether different in her cast of charac- 
ter and in her manners from her sister Mary. 

Then, lastly, there was Edward, the son of 
Jane Seymour, the third queen. He was about 
nine years of age at his father's death. He was 
a boy of good character, mild and gentle in his 
disposition, fond of study and reflection, and a 
general favorite with all who knew him. 

It was considered in those days that a king 
might, in some sense, dispose of his crown by 
will, just as, at the present time, a man may 
bequeath his house or his farm. Of course, 
there were some limits to this power, and the 
concurrence of Parliament seems to have been 
required to the complete validity of such a set- 
tlement. King Henry the Eighth, however, had 
little difficulty in carrying any law through Par- 
liament which he desired to have enacted. It 

46 Queen Elizabeth. [1547. 

King Henry'3 violence. The order of succession. 

is said that, on one occasion, when there was 
some delay about passing a bill of his, he sent 
for one of the most influential of the members 
of the House of Commons to come into his pres- 
ence. The member came and kneeled before 
him. " Ho, man !" said the king, " and will 
they not suffer my bill to pass ?" He then came 
up and pat his hand upon the kneeling legisla- 
tor's head, and added, " Get my bill passed to- 
morrow, or else by to-morrow this head of yours 
shall be off." The next day the bill was passed 

King Henry, before he died, arranged the or- 
der of succession to the throne as follows : Ed- 
ward was to succeed him ; but, as he was a mi- 
nor, being then only nine years of age, a great 
council of state, consisting of sixteen persons of 
the highest rank, was appointed to govern the 
kingdom in his name until he should be eight- 
een years of age, when he was to become king 
in reality as well as in name. In case he 
should die without heirs, then Mary, his old- 
est sister, was to succeed him ; and if she died 
without heirs, then Elizabeth was to succeed 
her. This arrangement went into full effect. 
The council governed the kingdom in Edward's 
name until he was sixteen years of age, when 

1547.] Childhood op a Princess. 47 

Elizabeth's troubles. The two Seymours. 

he died. Then Mary followed, and reigned as 
queen five years longer, and died without chil- 
dren, and during all this time Elizabeth held 
the rank of a princess, exposed to a thousand 
difficulties and dangers from the plots, intrigues, 
and conspiracies of those about her, in which, 
on account of her peculiar position and pros- 
pects, she was necessarily involved. 

One of the worst of these cases occurred soon 
after her father's death. There were two broth- 
ers of Jane Seymour, who were high in King 
Henry's favor at the time of his death. The 
oldest is known in history by his title of the 
Earl of Hertford at first, and afterward by 
that of Duke of Somerset. The youngest was 
called Sir Thomas Seymour. They were both 
made members of the government which was 
to administer the affairs of state during young 
Edward's minority.^ They were not, however, 
satisfied with any moderate degree of power. 
Being brothers of Jane Seymour, who was Ed- 
ward's mother, they were his uncles, of course, 
and the oldest one soon succeeded in causing 
himself to be appointed protector. By this of- 
fice he was, in fact, king, all except in name. 

The younger brother, who was an agreeable 
and accomplished man, paid his addresses to the 

48 Queen Elizabeth. [1547. 

The queen dowager's marriage. The Seymours quarrel. 

queen dowager, that is, to the widow whom 
King Henry left, for the last of his wives was 
living at the time of his death. She consented 
to marry him, and the marriage took place al- 
most immediately after the king's death — so 
soon, in fact, that it was considered extremely 
hasty and unbecoming. This queen dowager 
had two houses left to her, one at Chelsea, and 
the other at Han worth, towns some little dis- 
tance up the river from London. Here she re- 
sided with her new husband, sometimes at one 
of the houses, and sometimes at the other. The 
king had also directed, in his will, that the Prin- 
cess Elizabeth should be under her care, so that 
Elizabeth, immediately after her father's death, 
lived at one or the other of these two houses un- 
der the care of Seymour, who, from having been 
her uncle, became now, in some sense, her fa- 
ther. He was a sort of uncle, for he was the 
brother of one of her father's wives. He was a 
sort of father, for he was the husband of a moth- 
er of them. Yet, really, by blood, there was no 
relation between them. 

The two brothers, Somerset and Seymour, 
quarreled. Each was very ambitious, and very 
jealous of the other. Somerset, in addition to 
beins: appointed protector by the council, got a 

1547.] Childhood of a Princess. 49 

Somerset's power ami influence. Jealousies and quarrels. 

grant of power from the young king called a 
patent. This commission was executed with 
great formality, and was sealed with the great 
seal of state, and it made Somerset, in some 
measure, independent of the other nobles whom 
King Henry had associated with him in the gov- 
ernment. By this patent he was placed in su- 
preme command of all the forces by land and 
sea. He had a seat on the right hand of the 
throne, under the great canopy of state, and 
whenever he went abroad on public occasions, 
he assumed all the pomp and parade which 
would have been expected in a real king. Young 
Edward was wholly under his influence, and did 
always whatever Somerset recommended him to 
do. Seymour was very jealous of all this great- 
ness, and was contriving every means in his 
power to circumvent and supersede his brother. 
The wives, too, of these great statesmen quar- 
reled. The Duchess of Somerset thought she 
was entitled to the precedence, because she was 
the wife of the protector, who, being a kind of 
regent, she thought he was entitled to have his 
wife considered as a sort of queen. The wife 
of Seymour, on the other hand, contended that 
she was entitled to the precedence as a real 
queen, having been herself the actual consort 

50 Queen Elizabeth. [1547. 

Mary Queen of Scots. Marriage schemes. 

of a reigning monarch. The two ladies disput- 
ed perpetually on this point, which, of course, 
could never be settled. They enlisted, howev- 
er, on their respective sides various partisans, 
producing a great deal of jealousy and ill will, 
and increasing the animosity of their husbands. 

All this time the celebrated Mary Queen of 
Scots was an infant in Janet Sinclair's arms, 
at the castle of Stirling, in Scotland. King 
Henry, during his life, had made a treaty with 
the government of Scotland, by which it was 
agreed that Mary should be married to his son 
Edward as soon as the two children should have 
grown to maturity ; but afterward, the govern- 
ment of Scotland having fallen from Protestant 
into Catholic hands, they determined that this 
match must be given up. The English author- 
ities were very much incensed. They wished 
to have the marriage take effect, as it would 
end in uniting the Scotch and English king- 
doms ; and the protector, when a time arrived 
which he thought was favorable for his purpose, 
raised an army and marched northward to make 
war upon Scotland, and compel the Scots to 
fulfill the contract of marriage. 

While his brother was gone to the northward, 
Seymour remained at home, and endeavored, by 

1547.] Childhood op a Princess. 51 

Seymour's promotion. Jane Grey. Family quarrels. 

every means within his reach, to strengthen his 
own influence and increase his power. He con- 
trived to obtain from the council of government 
the office of lord high admiral, which gave him 
the command of the fleet, and made him, next 
to his brother, the most powerful and important 
personage in the realm. He had, besides, as 
has already been stated, the custody and care 
of Elizabeth, who lived in his house; though, 
as he was a profligate and unprincipled man, 
this position for the princess, now fast growing 
up to womanhood, was considered by many per- 
sons as of doubtful propriety. Still, she was at 
present only fourteen years old. There was 
another young lady likewise in his family, a 
niece of King Henry, and, of course, a second 
cousin of Elizabeth. Her name was Jane Grey. 
It was a very unhappy family. The manners 
and habits of all the joiembers of it, excepting 
Jane Grey, seem to have been very rude and 
irregular. The admiral quarreled with his wife, 
and was jealous of the very servants who wait- 
ed upon her. The queen observed something 
in the manners of her husband toward the young 
princess which made her angry both with him 
and her. Elizabeth resented this, and a violent 
quarrel ensued, which ended in their separation. 

52 Queen Elizabeth. [1548. 

Death of the queen dowager. Seymour's schemes. 

Elizabeth went away, and resided afterward at 
a place called Hatfield. 

Very soon after this, the queen dowager died 
suddenly. People accused Seymour, her hus- 
band, of having poisoned her, in order to make 
way for the Princess Elizabeth to be his wife. 
He denied this, but he immediately began to 
lay his plans for securing the hand of Elizabeth. 
There was a probability that she might, at some 
future time, succeed to the crown, and then, if 
he were her husband, he thought he should be 
the real sovereign, reigning in her name. 

Elizabeth had in her household two persons, 
a certain Mrs. Ashley, who was then her gov- 
erness, and a man named Parry, who was a sort 
of treasurer. He was called the cofferer. The 
admiral gained these persons over to his inter- 
ests, and, through them, attempted to open 
communications with Elizabeth, and persuade 
her to enter into his designs. Of course, the 
whole affair was managed with great secrecy. 
They were all liable to a charge of treason 
against the government of Edward by such 
plots, as his ministers and counselors might 
maintain that their design was to overthrow Ed- 
ward's government and make Elizabeth queen. 
Thev, therefore, were all banded together to 

1548.] Childhood of a Princess. 53 

Seymour's arrest. His trial and attainder. 

keep their councils secret, and Elizabeth was 
drawn, in some degree, into the scheme, though 
precisely how far was never fully known. It 
was supposed that she began to love Seymour, 
although he was very much older than herself, 
and to be willing to become his wife. It is not 
surprising that, neglected and forsaken as she 
had been, she should have been inclined to re- 
gard with favor an agreeable and influential 
man, who expressed a strong affection for her, 
and a warm interest in her welfare. 

However this may be, Elizabeth was one 
day struck with consternation at hearing that 
Seymour was arrested by order of his brother, 
who had returned from Scotland and had re- 
ceived information of his designs, and that he 
had been committed to the Tower. He had a 
hurried and irregular trial, or what, in those 
days, was called a trials The council went them- 
selves to the Tower, and had him brought before 
them and examined. He demanded to have the 
charges made out in form, and the witnesses 
confronted with him, but the council were satis- 
fied of his guilt without these formalities. The 
Parliament immediately afterward passed a bill 
of attainder against him, by which he was sen- 
tenced to death. His brother, the protector, 

54 Queen Elizabeth. [1548. 

Seymour beheaded. Elizabeth's trials. 

signed the warrant for his execution, and he 
was beheaded on Tower Hill. 

The protector sent two messengers in the 
course of this affair to Elizabeth, to see what 
they could ascertain from her about it. Sir 
Robert Tyrwhitt was the name of the principal 
one of these messengers. When the cofferer 
learned that they were at the gate, he went in 
great terror into his chamber, and said that he 
was undone. At the same time, he pulled off a 
chain from his neck, and the rings from his fin- 
gers, and threw them away from him with ges- 
ticulations of despair. The messengers then 
came to Elizabeth, and told her, falsely as it 
seems, with a view to frighten her into confes- 
sions, that Mrs. Ashley and the cofferer were 
both secured and sent to the Tower. She seem- 
ed very much alarmed ; she wept bitterly, and 
it was a long time before she regained her com- 
posure. She wanted to know whether they 
had confessed any thing. The protector's mes- 
sengers would not tell her this, but they urged 
her to confess herself all that had occurred ; for, 
whatever it was, they said that the evil and 
shame would all be ascribed to the other per- 
sons concerned, and not to her, on account of 
her youth and inexperience. But Elizabeth 

1548.] Childhood of a Princess. 55 

Elizabeth's firmness. Lady Tyrvvhitt. 

would confess nothing. The messengers went 
away, convinced, as they said, that she was 
guilty ; they could see that in her countenance ; 
and that her silence was owing to her firm de- 
termination not to betray her lover. They sent 
word to the protector that they did not believe 
that any body would succeed in drawing the 
least information from her, unless it was the 
protector, or young King Edward himself. 

These mysterious circumstances produced a 
somewhat unfavorable impression in regard to 
Elizabeth, and there were some foolish stories 
told of light and trifling behavior between Eliz- 
abeth and Seymour, while she was in his house 
during the life-time of his wife. They took 
place in the presence of Seymour's wife, and 
seem of no consequence, except to show that 
dukes and princesses got into frolics sometimes 
in those days as welL-as other mortals. People 
censured Mrs. Ashley for not enjoining a great- 
er dignity and propriety of demeanor in her 
young charge, and the government removed her 
from her place. 

Lady Tyrwhitt, who was the wife of the 
messenger referred to above that was sent to 
examine Elizabeth, was appointed to succeed 
Mrs. Ashley. Elizabeth was very much dis- 
pleased at this change. She told Lady Tyr- 

56 Queen Elizabeth. [1548. 

Elizabeth's sufferings. Her fidelity to her friends. 

whitt that Mrs. Ashley was her mistress, and 
that she had not done any thing to make it nec- 
essary for the council to put more mistresses 
over her. Sir Robert wrote to the protector 
that she took the affair so heavily that she 
" wept all night, and lowered all the next day." 
He said that her attachment to Mrs. Ashley 
was very strong ; and that, if any thing were 
said against the lord admiral, she could not bear 
to hear it, but took up his defense in the most 
prompt and eager manner. 

How far it is true that Elizabeth loved the 
unfortunate Seymour can now never be known. 
There is no doubt, however, but that this whole 
affair was a very severe trial and affliction to 
her. It came upon her when she was but four- 
teen or fifteen years of age, and when she was 
in a position, as well of an age, which ren- 
ders the heart acutely sensitive both to the ef- 
fect of kindness and of injuries. Seymour, by 
his death, was lost to her forever, and Elizabeth 
lived in great retirement and seclusion during 
the remainder of her brother's reign. She did 
not, however, forget Mrs. Ashley and Parry. 
On her accession to the throne, many years af- 
terward, she gave them offices very valuable, 
considering their station in life, and was a true 
friend to them both to the end of their days. 

1550.] Lady Jane Grey. 57 

Lady Jane Grey. Her disposition and character. 

.Chapter III. 

Lady Jane Grey. 

A MONG Elizabeth's companions and play- 
^*- mates in her early years was a young 
lady, her cousin, as she was often called, though 
she was really the daughter of her cousin, named 
Jane Grey, commonly called in history Lady 
Jane Grey. Her mother was the Marchioness 
of Dorset, and was the daughter of one of King 
Henry the Eighth's sisters. King Henry had 
named her as the next in the order of succession 
after his own children, that is, after Edward his 
son, and Mary and Elizabeth his two daughters ; 
and, consequently, though she was very young, 
yet, as she might one-day be Queen of England, 
she was a personage of considerable importance. 
She was, accordingly, kept near the court, and 
shared, in some respects, the education and the 
studies of the two princesses. 

Lady Jane was about four years younger 
than the Princess Elizabeth, and the sweetness 
of her disposition, united with an extraordinary 
intellectual superiority, which showed itself at 

58 Queen Elizabeth. [1550. 

Lady Jane's parents. Restraints put upon her. 

a very early period, made her a universal favor- 
ite. Her father and mother, the Marquis and 
Marchioness of Dorset, lived at an estate they 
possessed, called Broadgate, in Leicestershire, 
which is in the central part of England, although 
they took their title from the county of Dorset, 
which is on the southwestern coast. They were 
very proud of their daughter, and attached in- 
finite importance to her descent from Henry 
VII., and to the possibility that she might one 
day succeed to the English throne. They were 
very strict and severe in their manners, and 
paid great attention to etiquette and punctilio, 
as persons who are ambitious of rising in the 
world are very apt to do. In all ages of the 
world, and among all nations, those who have 
long been accustomed to a high position are 
easy and unconstrained in their manners and 
demeanor, while those who have been newly 
advanced from a lower station, or who are an- 
ticipating or aspiring to such an advance, make 
themselves slaves to the rules of etiquette and 
ceremony. It was thus that the father and 
mother of Lady Jane, anticipating that she 
might one day become a queen, watched and 
guarded her incessantly, subjected her to a 
thousand unwelcome restraints, and repressed 

1550.] Lady Jane Grey. 59 

Lady Jane's attainments. Character of her teacher. 

all the spontaneous and natural gayety and 
sprightliness which belongs properly to such a 

She became, however, a very excellent schol- 
ar in consequence of this state of things. She 
had a private teacher, a man of great eminence 
for his learning and abilities, and yet of a very 
kind and gentle spirit, which enabled him to 
gain a strong hold on his pupil's affection and 
regard. His name was John Aylmer. The 
Marquis of Dorset, Lady Jane's father, became 
acquainted with Mr. Aylmer when he was quite 
young, and appointed him, when he had finished 
his education, to come and reside in his family 
as chaplain and tutor to his children. Aylmer 
afterward became a distinguished man, was 
made Bishop of London, and held many high 
offices of state under Queen Elizabeth, when 
she came to reign. Pie became very much at- 
tached to Queen Elizabeth in the middle and 
latter part of his life, as he had been to Lady 
Jane in the early part of it. A curious incident 
occurred during the time that he was in the 
service of Elizabeth, which illustrates the char- 
acter of the man. The queen was suffering 
from the toothache, and it was necessary that 
the tooth should be extracted. The surgeon 

60 Queen Elizabeth. [1550. 

Anecdote of Elizabeth and Aylmer. Lady Jiine's attachment toAyLmer. 

was ready with his instruments, and several 
ladies and gentlemen of the royal household 
were in the queen's room commiserating her 
sufferings ; but the queen dreaded the operation 
so excessively that she could not summon for- 
titude enough to submit to it. Aylmer, after 
trying some time in vain to encourage her, took 
his seat in the chair instead of her, and said to 
the surgeon, " I am an old man, and have but 
few teeth to lose ; but come, draw this one, and 
let her majesty see how light a matter it is." 
One would not have supposed that Elizabeth 
would have allowed this to be done ; but she did ; 
and, finding that Aylmer made so light of the 
operation, she submitted to have it performed 
upon herself. 

But to return to Lady Jane. She was very 
strongly attached to her teacher, and made great 
progress in the studies which he arranged for 
her. Ladies of high rank, in those days, were 
accustomed to devote great attention to the an- 
cient and modern languages. There was, in 
fact, a great necessity then, as indeed there is 
now, for a European princess to be acquainted 
with the principal languages of Europe ; for the 
various royal families were continually inter- 
marrying with each other, which led to a great 

1550.] Lady Jane Grey. 61 

Elizabeth's studies. Roger Ascham. 

many visits, and other intercourse between the 
different courts. There was also a great deal 
of intercourse with the pope, in which the Latin 
language was the medium of communication. 
Lady Jane devoted a great deal of time to all 
these studies, and made great proficiency in 
them all. 

The Princess Elizabeth was also an excellent 
scholar. Her teacher was a very learned and 
celebrated man, named Roger Ascham. She 
spoke French and Italian as fluently as she 
did English. She also wrote and spoke Latin 
with correctness and readiness. She made con- 
siderable progress in Greek too. She could 
write the Greek character very beautifully, and 
could express herself tolerably well in conversa- 
tion in that language. One of her companions, 
a young lady of the name of Cecil, is said to 
have spoken Greek as well as English. Roger 
Ascham took great interest in advancing the 
princess in these studies, and in the course of 
these his instructions he became acquainted 
with Lady Jane, and he praises very highly, in 
his letters, the industry and assiduity of Lady 
Jane in similar pursuits. 

One day Roger Ascham, being on a journey 
from the north of England to London, stopped 

62 Queen Elizabeth. [1550. 

Lady Jane's acquirements in Greek. Her interview with Ascham. 

to make a call at the mansion of the Marquis 
of Dorset. He found that the family were all 
away ; they had gone off upon a hunting ex- 
cursion in the park. Lady Jane, however, had 
been left at home, and Ascham went in to see 
her. He found her in the library reading Greek. 
Ascham examined her a little, and was very 
much surprised to find how well acquainted 
with the language she had become, although 
she was then only about fifteen years old. He 
told her that he should like very much to have 
her write him a letter in Greek, and this she 
readily promised to do. He asked her, also, 
how it happened that, at her age, she had made 
such advances in learning. " I will tell you," 
said she, " how it has happened. One of the 
greatest benefits that God ever conferred upon 
me was in giving me so sharp and severe par- 
ents and so gentle a teacher ; for, when I am 
in the presence of either my father or mother, 
whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go ; 
eat, drink, be merry or sad ; be sewing, play- 
ing, dancing, or doing any thing else, I must 
do it, as it were, in just such weight, measure, 
and number, as perfectly as possible, or else I 
am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, 
yea, presently, sometimes with pinches, nips, and 

1550.] Lady Jane Grey. 65 

Lady Jane's intimacy with Edward. The Earl of Northumberland. 

bobs, and other ways, which I will not name 
for the honor I bear my parents, that I am con- 
tinually teased and tormented. And then, when 
the time comes for me to go to Mr. Elsmer, he 
teaches me so gently, so pleasantly, and with 
such fair allurements to learning, that I think 
all the time nothing while I am with him ; and 
I am always sorry to go away from him, be- 
cause whatsoever else I do but learning is full 
of grief, trouble, fear, and suffering." 

Lady Jane Grey was an intimate friend and 
companion of the young King Edward as long 
as he lived. Edward died when he was sixteen 
years of age, so that he did not reach the period 
which his father had assigned for his reigning 
in his own name. One of King Edward's most 
prominent and powerful ministers during the 
latter part of his life was the Earl of Northum- 
berland. The original name of the Earl of 
Northumberland was John Dudley. He was 
one of the train who came in the procession at 
the close of the baptism of Elizabeth, carrying 
the presents. He was a Protestant, and was 
very friendly to Edward and to Lady Jane 
Grey, for they were Protestants too. But his 
feelings and policy were hostile to Mary, for she 
was a Catholic. Mary was sometimes treated 

66 Queen Elizabeth. [1550. 

Harsh treatment of Mary. Decline of Edward's health. 

very harshly by him, and she was subjected to 
many privations and hardships on account of 
her religious faith. The government of Ed- 
ward justified these measures, on account of 
the necessity of promoting the Reformation, and 
discouraging popery by every means in their 
power. Northumberland supposed, too, that it 
was safe to do this, for Edward being very 
young, it was probable that he would live and 
reign a long time. It is true that Mary was 
named, in her father's will, as his successor, if 
she outlived him, but then it was highly prob- 
able that she would not outlive him, for she was 
several years older than he. 

All these calculations, however, were spoiled 
by the sudden failure of Edward's health when 
he was sixteen years old. Northumberland was 
much alarmed at this. He knew at once that if 
Edward should die, and Mary succeed him, all 
his power would be gone, and he determined to 
make desperate efforts to prevent such a result. 

It must not be understood, however, that in 
coming to this resolution, Northumberland con- 
sidered himself as intending and planning a de- 
liberate usurpation of power. There was a real 
uncertainty in respect to the question who was 
the true and rightful heir to the crown. Nor- 

1550.] Lady Jane Grey. 67 

Uncertainty in respect to the succession. Struggles for power. 

thumberland was, undoubtedly, strongly biased 
by his interest, but he may have been uncon- 
scious of the bias, and in advocating the mode 
of succession on which the continuance of his 
own power depended, he may have really be- 
lieved that he was only maintaining what was 
in itself rightful and just. 

In fact, there is no mode which human inge- 
nuity has ever yet devised for determining the 
hands in which the supreme executive of a na- 
tion shall be lodged, which will always avoid 
doubt and contention. If this power devolves 
by hereditary descent, no rules can be made so 
minute and full as that cases will not some- 
times occur that will transcend them. If, on 
the other hand, the plan of election be adopted, 
there will often be technical doubts about a por- 
tion of the votes, and cases will sometimes occur 
where the result will depend upon this doubtful 
portion. Thus there will be disputes under any 
system, and ambitious men will seize such oc- 
casions to struggle for power. 

In order that our readers may clearly under- 
stand the nature of the plan which Northum- 
berland adopted, we present, on the following 
page, a sort of genealogical table of the royal 
family of England in the days of Elizabeth. 


Queen Elizabeth. 


Queen Elizabeth's family connections. 



















































































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,5 B JJ 

1550. J Lady Jane Grey. 69 

Explanation of the table. King Henry's will. 

By examination of this table, it will be seen 
that King Henry VII. left a son and two daugh- 
ters. The son was King Henry VIII., and he 
had three children. His third child was King 
Edward VI., who was now about to die. The 
other two were the Princesses Mary and Eliza- 
beth, who would naturally be considered the 
next heirs after Edward; and besides, King 
Henry had left a will, as has been already ex- 
plained, confirming their rights to the succes- 
sion. This will he had made near the time of 
his death ; but it will be recollected that, dur- 
ing his life-time, both the marriages from which 
these princesses had sprung had been formally 
annulled. His marriage with Catharine of Ar- 
agon had been annulled on one plea, and that 
of Anne Boleyn on another. Both these decrees 
of annulment had afterward been revoked, and 
the right of the princesjses to succeed had been 
restored, or attempted to be restored, by the will. 
Still, it admitted of a question, after all, whether 
Mary and Elizabeth were to be considered as the 
children of true and lawful wives or not. 

If they were not, then Lady Jane Grey was 
the next heir, for she was placed next to the 
princesses by King Henry the Eighth's will. 
This will, for some reason or other, set aside all 

70 Queen Elizabeth. [1550. 

Various claimants for the throne. Perplexing questions* 

the descendants of Margaret, who went to Scot- 
land as the wife of James IV. of that country. 
What right the king had thus to disinherit the 
children of his sister Margaret was a great 
question. Among her descendants was Mary 
Queen of Scots, as will be seen by the table, 
and she was, at this time, the representative of 
that branch of the family. The friends of Mary 
Queen of Scots claimed that she was the law- 
ful heir to the English throne after Edward. 
They maintained that the marriage of Catha- 
rine, the Princess Mary's mother, and also that 
of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth's mother, had both 
been annulled, and that the will could not re- 
store them. They maintained, also, that the 
will was equally powerless in setting aside the 
claims of Margaret, her grandmother. Mary 
Queen of Scots, though silent now, advanced 
her claim subsequently, and made Elizabeth a 
great deal of trouble. 

Then there was, besides these, a third party, 
who maintained that King Henry the Eighth's 
will was not effectual in legalizing again the 
annulled marriages, but that it was sufficient 
to set aside the claims of Margaret. Of course, 
with them, Lady Jane Grey, who, as will be 
seen by the table, was the representative of the 

1553.1 Lady Jane Grey. 71 

Power of Northumberland. His schemes. 

second sister of Henry VIII. , was the only heir. 
The Earl of Northumberland embraced this 
view. His motive was to raise Lady Jane Grey 
to the throne, in order to exclude the Princess 
Mary, whose accession he knew very well would 
bring all his greatness to a very sudden end. 

The Earl of Northumberland was at this 
time the principal minister of the young king. 
The protector Somerset had fallen long ago. 
Northumberland, whose name was then John 
Dudley, had supplanted him, and had acquired 
so great influence and power at court that al- 
most every thing seemed to be at his disposal. 
He was, however, generally hated by the other 
courtiers and by the nation. Men who gain the 
confidence of a young or feeble-minded prince, 
so as to wield a great power not properly their 
own, are almost always odious. It was expected, 
however, that his career would be soon brought 
to an end, as all knew that King Edward must 
die, and it was generally understood that Mary 
was to succeed him. 

Northumberland, however, was very anxious 
to devise some scheme to continue his power, 
and in revolving the subject in his mind, he 
conceived of plans which seemed to promise not 
only to continue, but also greatly to increase it. 

72 Queen Elizabeth. [1553. 

Marriage of Lady Jane. Feelings of the people. 

His scheme was to have the princesses' claims 
set aside, and Lady Jane Grey raised to the 
throne. He had several sons. One of them, 
was young, handsome, and accomplished. He 
thought of proposing him to Lady Jane's father 
as the husband of Lady Jane, and, to induce 
the marquis to consent to this plan, he promised 
to obtain a dukedom for him by means of his 
influence with the king. The marquis agreed, 
to the proposal. Lady Jane did not object to 
the husband they offered her. The dukedom 
was obtained, and the marriage, together with 
two others which Northumberland had arrang- 
ed to strengthen his influence, were celebrated, 
all on the same day, with great festivities and 
rejoicings. The people looked on moodily, jeal- 
ous and displeased, though they had no open 
ground of displeasure, except that it was un- 
suitable to have such scenes of gayety and re- 
joicing among the high officers of the court 
while the young monarch himself was lying 
upon his dying bed. They did not yet know 
that it was Northumberland's plan to raise his 
new daughter-in-law to the throne. 

Northumberland thought it would greatly in- 
crease his prospect of success if he could ob- 
tain some act of acknowledgment of Lady Jane's 

1553.] Lady Jane Gbey. 73 

Efforts to set Mary aside. Northumberland works on the young king 

claims to the crown before Edward died. An 
opportunity soon occurred for effecting this pur- 
pose. One day, as he was sitting by young Ed- 
ward's bedside, he turned the conversation to 
the subject of the Reformation, which had made 
great progress during Edward's reign, and he 
led Edward on in the conversation, until he re- 
marked that it was a great pity to have the 
work all undone by Mary's accession, for she 
was a Catholic, and would, of course, endeavor 
to bring the country back again under the spir- 
itual dominion of Rome. Northumberland then 
told him that there was one way, and one way 
only, to avert such a calamity, and that was to 
make Lady Jane his heir instead of Mary. 

King Edward was a very thoughtful, consid- 
erate, and conscientious boy, and was very de- 
sirous of doing what he considered his duty. He 
thought it was his duty to do all in his power 
to sustain the Reformation, and to prevent the 
Catholic power from gaming ascendency hi En- 
gland again. He was, therefore, easily persua- 
ded to accede to Northumberland's plan, espe- 
cially as he was himself strongly attached to 
Lady Jane, who had often been his playmate 
and companion. 

The king accordingly sent for three judges 

74 Queen Elizabeth. [1553. 

Conduct of the judges. Pardon by anticipation. 

of the realm, and directed them to draw up a 
deed of assignment, by which the crown was to 
be conveyed to Lady Jane on the young king's 
death, Mary and Elizabeth being alike exclu- 
ded. The judges were afraid to do this ; for, 
by King Henry the Eighth's settlement of the 
crown, all those persons who should do any 
thing to disturb the succession as he arranged 
it were declared to be guilty of high treason. 
The judges knew very well, therefore, that if 
they should do what the king required of them, 
and then, if the friends of Lady Jane should fail 
of establishing her upon the throne, the end of 
the affair would be the cutting off of their own 
heads in the Tower. They represented this to 
the king, and begged to be excused from the 
duty that he required of them. Northumber- 
land was in a great rage at this, and seemed 
almost ready to break out against the judges in 
open violence. They, however, persisted in their 
refusal to do what they well knew would sub- 
ject them to the pains and penalties of treason. 
Northumberland, finding that threats and vi- 
olence would not succeed, contrived another 
mode of obviating the difficulty. He proposed 
to protect the judges from any possible evil con- 
sequences of their act by a formal pardon for it, 

1553.1 Lady Jane Grey. 75 

Edward's deed of settlement. Plan to entrap the princesses. 

signed by the king, and sealed with the great 
seal, and then, in case they were ever charged 
with treason, the pardon would save them from 
punishment. This plan succeeded. The par- 
don was made out, being written with great 
formality upon a parchment roll, and sealed 
with the great seal. The judges then prepared 
and signed the deed of settlement by which the 
crown was given to Lady Jane, though, after all, 
they did it with much reluctance and many 

Northumberland next wanted to contrive 
some plan for getting the princesses into his 
power, in order to prevent their heading any 
movement in behalf of their own claims at the 
death of the king. He was also desirous of 
making such arrangements as to conceal the 
death of the king for a few days after it should 
take place, in order that he might get Lady 
Jane and her officers in complete possession of 
the kingdom before the demise of the crown 
should be generally known. For this purpose 
he dismissed the regular physicians who had at- 
tended upon the king, and put him under the 
charge of a woman, who pretended that she had 
a medicine that would certainly cure him. He 
sent, also, messengers to the princesses, who 

76 Queen Elizabeth. [1553. 

Death of Edward. Escape of the princesses. 

were then in the country north of London, re- 
questing that they would come to Greenwich, 
to be near the sick chamber where their broth- 
er was lying, that they might cheer and com- 
fort him in his sickness and pain. 

The princesses obeyed the summons. They 
each sat out immediately on the journey, and 
moved toward London on their way to Green- 
wich. In the mean time, Edward was rapidly 
declining. The change in the treatment which 
took place when his physicians left him, made 
him worse instead of better. His cough in- 
creased, his breathing became more labored and 
difficult ; in a word, his case presented all the 
symptoms of approaching dissolution. At length 
he died. Northumberland attempted to keep 
the fact concealed until after the princesses 
should arrive, that he might get them into his 
power. Some faithful friend, however, made 
all haste to meet them, in order to inform them 
what was going on. In this way Mary received 
intelligence of her brother's death when she had 
almost reached London, and was informed, also, 
of the plans of Northumberland for raising Lady 
Jane to the throne. The two princesses were 
extremely alarmed, and both turned back at 
once toward the northward again. Mary stopped 

1553.] Lady Jane Grey. 77 

Precautions of Mary. Lady Jane proclaimed queen. 

to write a letter to the council, remonstrating 
against their delay in proclaiming her queen, 
and then proceeded rapidly to a strong castle 
at a place called Framlingham, in the county 
of Suffolk, on the eastern coast of England. 
She made this her head-quarters, because she 
supposed that the people of that county were 
particularly friendly to her ; and then, besides, 
it was near the sea, and, in case the course of 
events should turn against her, she could make 
her escape to foreign lands. It is true that the 
prospect of being a fugitive and an exile was 
very dark and gloomy, but it was not so terrible 
as the idea of being shut up a prisoner in the 
Tower, or being beheaded on a block for treason. 
In the mean time, Northumberland went, at 
the head of a troop of his adherents, to the res- 
idence of Lady Jane Grey, informed her of the 
death of Edward, and announced to her their 
determination to proclaim her queen. Lady 
Jane was very much astonished at this news. 
At first she absolutely refused the offered hon- 
or ; but the solicitations and urgency of Nor- 
thumberland, and of her father and her young 
husband, at length prevailed. She was con- 
ducted to London, and instated in at least the 
semblance of power. 

78 Queen Elizabeth. [1553. 

Great excitement. Public opinion in favor of Mary. 

As the news of these transactions spread 
throughout the land, a universal and strong ex- 
citement was produced, every body at once tak- 
ing sides either for Mary or Lady Jane. Bands 
of armed men began to assemble. It soon be- 
came apparent, however, that, beyond the imme- 
diate precincts of London, the country was al- 
most unanimous for Mary. They dreaded, it 
is true, the danger which they anticipated from 
her Catholic faith, but still they had all consid- 
ered it a settled point, since the death of Henry 
the Eighth, that Mary was to reign whenever 
Edward should die ; and this general expecta- 
tion that she would be queen had passed in- 
sensibly into an opinion that she ought to be. 
Considered strictly as a legal question, it was 
certainly doubtful which of the four claimants 
to the throne had the strongest title ; but the 
public were not disposed so to regard it. They 
chose, on the whole, that Mary should reign. 
Large military masses consequently flocked to 
her standard. Elizabeth took sides with her, 
and, as it was important to give as much pub- 
lic effect to her adhesion as possible, they fur- 
nished Elizabeth with a troop of a thousand 
horsemen, at the head of which she rode to meet 
Mary and tender her aid. 

1553.] Lady Jane Grey. 79 

Northumberland taken prisoner. He is beheaded. 

Northumberland went forth at the head of 
such forces as he could collect, but he soon found 
that the attempt was vain. His troops forsook 
him. The castles which had at first been under 
his command surrendered themselves to Mary. 
The Tower of London went over to her side. 
Finally, all being lost, Northumberland himself 
was taken prisoner, and all his influential friends 
with him, and were committed to the Tower. 
Lady Jane herself too, together with her hus- 
band and father, were seized and sent to prison. 

Northumberland was immediately put upon 
his trial for treason. He was condemned, and 
brought at once to the block. In fact, the whole 
affair moved very promptly and rapidly on, from 
its commencement to its consummation. Ed- 
ward the Sixth died on the 5th of July, and it 
was only the 22d of August when Northumber- 
land was beheaded. ^The period for which the 
unhappy Lady Jane enjoyed the honor of being 
called a queen was nine days. 

It was about a month after this that Mary 
passed from the Tower through the city of Lon- 
don in a grand triumphal procession to be 
crowned. The royal chariot, covered with cloth 
of golden tissue, was drawn by six horses most 
splendidly caparisoned. Elizabeth, who had aid- 

80 Queen Elizabeth. [1553. 

Mary's triumphal procession. Shared by Elizabeth. 

ed her sister, so far as she could, in the strug- 
gle, was admitted to share the triumph. She 
had a carriage drawn by six horses too, with 
cloth and decorations of silver. They proceed- 
ed in this manner, attended and followed by a 
great cavalcade of nobles and soldiery, to West- 
minster Abbey, where Mary took her seat with 
great formality upon her father's throne. 

1553.] The Spanish Match. 


Queen Mary's character. 


Chapter IV. 

The Spanish Match. 

T7^7~HEN Queen Mary ascended the throne, 
™ * she was a maiden lady not far from thir- 
ty-five years of age. She was cold, austere, and 
forbidding in her appearance and manners, 
though probably conscientious and honest in 
her convictions of duty. She was a very firm 
and decided Catholic, or, rather, she evinced a 
certain strict adherence to the principles of her 
religious faith, which we generally call firmness 
when it is exhibited by those whose opinions 
agree with our own, though we are very apt to 
name it bigotry in those who differ from us. 

For instance, when the body of young Ed- 
ward, her brother, after his death, was to be 
deposited in the last home of the English kings 
in Westminster Abbey, which is a very mag- 
nificent cathedral a little way up the river from 
London, the services were, of course, conducted 
according to the ritual of the English Church, 
which was then Protestant. Mary, however, 
could not conscientiously countenance such serv- 

82 Q,ueein Elizabeth. [1553. 

Bigotry and firmness. Suitors for Queen Mary's hand. 

ices even by being present at them. She ac- 
cordingly assembled her immediate attendants 
and personal friends in her own private chapel, 
and celebrated the interment there, with Cath- 
olic priests, by a service conformed to the Cath- 
olic ritual. Was it a bigoted, or only a firm 
and proper attachment to her own faith, which 
forbade her joining in the national commemo- 
ration ? The reader must decide ; but, in de- 
ciding, he is bound to render the same verdict 
that he would have given if it had been a case 
of a Protestant withdrawing thus from Catho- 
lic forms. 

At all events, whether bigoted or not, Mary 
was doubtless sincere ; but she was so cold, 
and stern, and austere in her character, that she 
was very little likely to be loved. There were 
a great many persons who wished to become her 
husband, but their motives were to share her 
grandeur and power. Among these persons, the 
most prominent one, and the one apparently 
most likely to succeed, was a prince of Spain. 
His name was Philip. 

It was his father's plan, and not his own, that 
he should marry Queen Mary. His father was 
at this time the most wealthy and powerful 
monarch in Europe. His name was Charles. 

Portrait of Philip of Spain. 

1553.] The Spanish Match. 85 

Emperor Charles the Fifth. Character of his son Philip. 

He is commonly called in history Charles V. 
of Spain. He was not only King of Spain, but 
Emperor of Germany. He resided sometimes 
at Madrid, and sometimes at Brussels in Flan- 
ders. His son Philip had been married to a 
Portuguese princess, but his wife had died, and 
thus Philip was a widower. Still, he was only 
twenty-seven years of age, but he was as stern, 
severe, and repulsive in his manners as Mary. 
His personal appearance, too, corresponded with 
his character. He was a very decided Catholic 
too, and in his natural spirit, haughty, ambi- 
tious, and domineering. 

The Emperor Charles, as soon as he heard 
of young Edward's death and of Mary's acces- 
sion to the English throne, conceived the plan 
of proposing to her his son Philip for a husband. 
He sent over a wise and sagacious statesman 
from his court to make the proposition, and to 
urge it by such reasons as would be most likely 
to influence Mary's mind, and the minds of the 
great officers of her government. The embas- 
sador managed the affair well. In fact, it was 
probably easy to manage it. Mary would nat- 
urally be pleased with the idea of such a young 
husband, who, besides being young and accom- 
plished, was the son of the greatest potentate in 

86 Queen Elizabeth. [1553. 

The emperor proposes his son. Mary pleased with the proposal. 

Europe, and likely one day to take his father's 
place on that lofty elevation. Besides, Mary 
Queen of Scots, who had rival claims to Queen 
Mary's throne, had married, or was about to 
marry, the son of the King of France, and there 
was a little glory in outshining her, by having 
for a husband a son of the King of Spain. It 
might, however, perhaps, be a question which 
was the greatest match ; for, though the court 
of Paris was the most brilliant, Spain, being at 
that time possessed of the gold and silver mines 
of its American colonies, was at least the rich- 
est country in the world. 

Mary's ministers, when they found that Mary 
herself liked the plan, fell in with it too. Mary 
had been beginning, very quietly indeed, but 
very efficiently, her measures for bringing back 
the English government and nation to the Cath- 
olic faith. Her ministers told her now, howev- 
er, that if she wished to succeed in effecting 
this match, she must suspend all these plans 
until the match was consummated. The peo- 
ple of England were generally of the Protestant 
faith. They had been very uneasy and restless 
under the progress which the queen had been 
making in silencing Protestant preachers, and 
bringing back Catholic rites and ceremonies ; 

1553.] The Spanish Match. 87 

Plans of the ministers. The people alarmed. 

and now, if they found that their queen was 
going to marry so rigid and uncompromising a 
Catholic as Philip of Spain, they would be 
doubly alarmed. She must suspend, therefore, 
for a time, her measures for restoring papacy, 
unless she was willing to give up her husband. 
The queen saw that this was the alternative, 
and she decided on following her ministers' ad- 
vice. She did all in her power to quiet and 
calm the public mind, in order to prepare the 
way for announcing the proposed connection. 

Rumors, however, began to be spread abroad 
that such a design was entertained before Mary 
was fully prepared to promulgate it. These 
rumors produced great excitement, and awak- 
ened strong opposition. The people knew Phil- 
ip's ambitious and overbearing character, and 
they believed that if he were to come to En- 
gland as the husband of the queen, the whole 
government would pass into his hands, and, as 
he would naturally be very much under the in- 
fluence of his father, the connection was likely 
to result in making England a mere appendage 
to the already vast dominions of the emperor. 
The House of Commons appointed a committee 
of twenty members, and sent them to the queen, 
with a humble petition that she would not mar- 

88 Queen Elizabeth. [1553. 

Opposition to the match. The emperor furnishes money. 

ry a foreigner. The queen was much displeased 
at receiving such a petition, and she dissolved 
the Parliament. The members dispersed, car- 
rying with them every where expressions of 
their dissatisfaction and fear. England, they 
said, was about to become a province of Spain, 
and the prospect of such a consummation, wher- 
ever the tidings went, filled the people of the 
country with great alarm. 

Queen Mary's principal minister of state at 
this time was a crafty politician, whose name 
was Gardiner. Gardiner sent word to the em- 
peror that there was great opposition to his son's 
marriage in England, and that he feared that 
he should not be able to accomplish it, unless 
the terms of the contract of marriage were made 
very favorable to the queen and to England, 
and unless the emperor could furnish him with 
a large sum of money to use as a means of 
bringing influential persons of the realm to fa- 
vor it. Charles decided to send the money. 
He borrowed it of some of the rich cities of 
Germany, making his son Philip give his bond 
to repay it as soon as he should get possession 
of his bride, and of the rich and powerful coun- 
try over which she reigned. The amount thus 
remitted to England is said bv the historians 

1554.J The Spanish Match. 89 

The emperor's embassy. Treaty of marriage. 

of those days to have been a sum equal to two 
millions of dollars. The bribery was certainly 
on a very respectable scale. 

The emperor also sent a very magnificent 
embassy to London, with a distinguished noble- 
man at its head, to arrange the terms and con- 
tracts of the marriage. This embassy came in 
great state, and, during their residence in Lon- 
don, were the objects of great attention and pa- 
rade. The eclat of their reception, and the in- 
fluence of the bribes, seemed to silence opposi- 
tion to the scheme. Open opposition ceased to 
be expressed, though a strong and inveterate 
determination against the measure was secret- 
ly extending itself throughout the realm. This, 
however, did not prevent the negotiations from 
going on. The terms were probably all fully 
understood and agreed upon before the embassy 
came, so that nothing- remained but the formal- 
ities of writing and signing the articles. 

Some of the principal stipulations of these ar- 
ticles were, that Philip was to have the title of 
King of England jointly with Mary's title of 
queen. Mary was also to share with him, in 
the same way, his titles in Spain. It was agreed 
that Mary should have the exclusive power of 
the appointment of officers of government in 

90 Queen Elizabeth. [L554. 

Stipulations of the treaty of marriage. 

England, and that no Spaniards should be eli- 
gible at all. Particular provisions were made in 
respect to the children which might result from 
the marriage, as to how they should inherit 
rights of government in the two countries. 
Philip had one son already, by his former wife. 
This son was to succeed his father in the king- 
dom of Spain, but the other dominions of Philip 
on the Continent were to descend to the offspring 
of this new marriage, in modes minutely spec- 
ified to fit all possible cases which might occur. 
The making of all these specifications, however, 
turned out to be labor lost, as Mary never had 

It was also specially agreed that Philip should 
not bring Spanish or foreign domestics into the 
realm, to give uneasiness to the English peo- 
ple ; that he would never take the queen out of 
England, nor carry any of the children away, 
without the consent of the English nobility; 
and that, if the queen were to die before him, 
all his rights and claims of every sort, in re- 
spect to England, should forever cease. He 
also agreed that he would never carry away any 
of the jewels or other property of the crown, nor 
suffer any other person to do so. 

These stipulations, guarding so carefully the 

1554.] The Spanish Match. 91 

Wyatt's rebellion. Duke of Suffolk. 

rights of Mary and of England, were intended 
to satisfy the English people, and remove their 
objections to the match. They did have some 
effect, but the hostility was too deeply seated to 
be so easily allayed. It grew, on the contrary, 
more and more threatening, until at length a 
conspiracy was formed by a number of influen- 
tial and powerful men, and a plan of open re- 
bellion organized. 

The leader in this plan was Sir Thomas Wy- 
att, and the outbreak which followed is known 
in history as Wyatt's rebellion. Another of the 
leaders was the Duke of Suffolk, who, it will be 
recollected, was the father of Lady Jane Grey. 
This led people to suppose that the plan of the 
conspirators was not merely to prevent the con- 
summation of the Spanish match, but to depose 
Queen Mary entirely, and to raise the Lady 
Jane to the throne. --However this may be, an 
extensive and formidable conspiracy was form- 
ed. There were to have been several risings in 
different parts of the kingdom. They all failed 
except the one which Wyatt himself was to 
head, which was in Kent, in the southeastern 
part of the country. This succeeded so far, at 
least, that a considerable force was collected, 
and began to advance toward London from the 
southern side. 

92 Queen Elizabeth. [1554. 

Wyatt advances toward London. The queen retreats into the city. 

Queen Mary was very much alarmed. She 
had no armed force in readiness to encounter 
this danger. She sent messengers across the 
Thames and down the river to meet Wyatt, 
who was advancing at the head of four thou- 
sand men, to ask what it was that he demand- 
ed. He replied that the queen must be deliv- 
ered up as his prisoner, and that the Tower of 
London be surrendered to him. This showed 
that his plan was to depose the queen. Mary 
rejected these proposals at once, and, having no 
forces to meet this new enemy, she had to re- 
treat from Westminster into the city of London, 
and here she took refuge in the city hall, called 
the Guildhall, and put herself under the protec- 
tion of the city authorities. Some of her friends 
urged her to take shelter in the Tower ; but she 
had more confidence, she said, in the faithfulness 
and loyalty of her subjects than in castle walls. 

Wyatt continued to advance. He was still 
upon the south side of the river. There was 
but one bridge across the Thames, at London, 
in those days, though there are half a dozen now, 
and this one was so strongly barricaded and 
guarded that Wyatt did not dare to attempt to 
cross it. He went up the river, therefore, to 
cross at a higher point ; and this circuit, and 

1554.] The Spanish Match. 93 

Wyatt surrenders. The Duke of Suffolk sent to the Tower. 

several accidental circumstances which occur- 
red, detained him so long that a considerable 
force had been got together to receive him when 
he was ready to enter the city. He pushed bold- 
ly on into the narrow streets, which received him 
like a trap or a snare. The city troops hemmed 
up his way after he had entered. They barri- 
caded the streets, they shut the gates, and arm- 
ed men poured in to take possession of all the av- 
enues. He had depended upon finding the peo- 
ple of London on his side. They turned, in- 
stead, against him. All hope of success in his 
enterprise, and all possibility of escape from his 
own awful danger, disappeared together. A 
herald came from the queen's officer calling upon 
him to surrender himself quietly, and save the 
effusion of blood. He surrendered in an agony 
of terror and despair. 

The Duke of Suffolk learned these facts in 
another county, where he was endeavoring to 
raise a force to aid Wyatt. He immediately 
fled, and hid himself in the house of one of his 
domestics. He was betrayed, however, seized, 
and sent to the Tower. All the other promi- 
nent actors in the insurrection were arrested, 
and the others fled in all directions, wherever 
they could find concealment or safety. 

94 Queen Elizabeth. [1554. 

Beheading of Lady Jane Grey. Her heroic fortitude. 

Lady Jane's life had been spared thus far, al- 
though she had been, in fact, guilty of treason 
against Mary by the former attempt to take 
the crown. She now, however, two days after 
the capture of Wyatt, received word that she 
must prepare to die. She was, of course, sur- 
prised and shocked at the suddenness of this an- 
nouncement ; but she soon regained her com- 
posure, and passed through the awful scenes 
preceding her death with a fortitude amounting 
to heroism, which was very astonishing in one 
so young. Her husband was to die too. He 
was beheaded first, and she saw the headless 
body, as it was brought back from the place of 
execution, before her turn came. She acknowl- 
edged her guilt in having attempted to seize her 
cousin's crown. As the attempt to seize this 
crown failed, mankind consider her technically 
guilty. If it had succeeded, Mary, instead of 
Jane, would have been the traitor who would 
have died for attempting criminally to usurp a 

In the mean time Wyatt and Suffolk re- 
mained prisoners in the Tower. Suffolk was 
overwhelmed with remorse and sorrow at hav- 
ing been the means, by his selfish ambition, of 
the cruel death of so innocent and lovely a child. 

1554.] The Spanish Match. 95 

Death of Suffolk. Imprisonment of Elizabeth. Execution of Wyatt. 

He did not suffer this anguish long, however, 
for five days after his son and Lady Jane were 
executed, his head fell too from the block. 
Wyatt was reserved a little longer. 

He was more formally tried, and in his ex- 
amination he asserted that the Princess Eliza- 
beth was involved in the conspiracy. Officers 
were immediately sent to arrest Elizabeth. 
She was taken to a royal palace at Westmin- 
ster, just above London, called Whitehall, and 
shut up there in close confinement, and no one 
was allowed to visit her or speak to her. The 
particulars of this imprisonment will be de- 
scribed more fully in the next chapter. Fifty 
or sixty common conspirators, not worthy of 
being beheaded with an ax, were hanged, and 
a company of six hundred more were brought, 
their hands tied, and halters about their necks, 
a miserable gang, into- Mary's presence, before 
her palace, to be pardoned. Wyatt was then 
executed. When he came to die, however, he 
retracted what he had alleged of Elizabeth. He 
declared that she was entirely innocent of any 
participation in the scheme of rebellion. Eliza- 
beth's friends believe that he accused her be- 
cause he supposed that such a charge would be 
agreeable to Mary, and that he should himself 

96 Queen Elizabeth. [1554. 

The wedding plan proceeds. Hostility of the sailors. 

be more leniently treated in consequence of it, 
but that when at last he found that sacrificing 
her would not save him, his guilty conscience 
scourged him into doing her justice in his last 

. All obstacles to the wedding were now appa- 
rently removed ; for, after the failure of Wyatt's 
rebellion, nobody dared to make any open oppo- 
sition to the plans of the queen, though there 
was still abundance of secret dissatisfaction. 
Mary was now very impatient to have the mar- 
riage carried into effect. A new Parliament 
was called, and its concurrence in the plan ob- 
tained. Mary ordered a squadron of ships to 
be fitted out and sent to Spain, to convey the 
bridegroom to England. The admiral who had 
command of this fleet wrote to her that the 
sailors were so hostile to Philip that he did not 
think it was safe for her to intrust him to their 
hands. Mary then commanded this force to be 
dismissed, in order to arrange some other way 
to bring Philip over. She was then full of anx- 
iety and apprehension lest some accident might 
befall him. His ship might be wrecked, or he 
might fall into the hands of the French, who 
were not at all well disposed toward the match. 
Her thoughts and her conversation were run- 

1554.] The Spanish Match. 97 

Mary's fears and complainings. Philip lands at Southampton. 

ning upon this topic all the time. She was 
restless by day and sleepless by night, until 
her health was at last seriously impaired, and 
her friends began really to fear that she might 
lose her reason. She was very anxious, too, lest 
Philip should find her beauty so impaired by 
her years, and by the state of her health, that 
she should fail, when he arrived, of becoming 
the object of his love. 

In fact, she complained already that Philip 
neglected her. He did not write to her, or ex- 
press in any way the interest and affection 
which she thought ought to be awakened in his 
mind by a bride who, as she expressed it, was go- 
ing to bring a kingdom for a dowry. This sort 
of cold and haughty demeanor was, however, in 
keeping with the self-importance and the pride 
which then often marked the Spanish charac- 
ter, and which, in Philip particularly, always 
seemed to be extreme. 

At length the time arrived for his embarka- 
tion. He sailed across the Bay of Biscay, and 
up the English Channel until he reached South- 
ampton, a famous port on the southern coast of 
England. There he landed with great pomp 
and parade. He assumed a very proud and 
stately bearing, which made a very unfavorable 

98 Queen Elizabeth. [1555. 

Philip's proud and haughty demeanor. The marriage ceremony. 

impression upon the English people who had 
been sent by Queen Mary to receive him. He 
drew his sword when he landed, and walked 
about with it, for a time, in a very pompous 
manner, holding the sword unsheathed in his 
hand, the crowd of by-standers that had collect- 
ed to witness the spectacle of the landing look- 
ing on all the time, and wondering what such 
an action could be intended to intimate. It was 
probably intended simply to make them wonder. 
The authorities of Southampton had arranged 
it to come in procession to meet Philip, and 
present him with the keys of the gates, an em- 
blem of an honorable reception into the city. 
Philip received the keys, but did not deign a 
word of reply. The distance and reserve which 
it had been customary to maintain between the 
English sovereigns and their people was always 
pretty strongly marked, but Philip's loftiness 
and grandeur seemed to surpass all bounds. 

Mary went two thirds of the way from Lon- 
don to the coast to meet the bridegroom. Here 
the marriage ceremony was performed, and the 
whole party came, with great parade and re- 
joicings, back to London, and Mary, satislied 
and happy, took up her abode with her new lord 
in Windsor Castle. 

1555.] The Spanish Match. 99 

Philip abandons Mary, Her repinings. Her death. 

The poor queen was, however, in the end, sad- 
ly disappointed in her husband. He felt no love 
for her ; he was probably, in fact, incapable of 
love. He remained in England a year, and then, 
growing weary of his wife and of his adopted 
country, he went back to Spain again, greatly 
to Queen Mary's vexation and chagrin. They 
were both extremely disappointed in not hav- 
ing children. Philip's motive for marrying 
Mary was ambition wholly, and not love ; and 
when he found that an heir to inherit the two 
kingdoms was not to be expected, he treated his 
unhappy wife with great neglect and cruelty, 
and finally went away from her altogether. He 
came back again, it is true, a year afterward, 
but it was only to compel Mary to join with him 
in a war against France. He told her that if 
she would not do this, he would go away from 
E ngland and never see her again. Mary yield- 
ed ; but at length, harassed and worn down with 
useless regrets and repinings, her mental suf- 
ferings are supposed to have shortened her days. 
She died miserably a few years after her mar- 
riage, and thus the Spanish match turned out 
to be a very unfortunate match indeed. 

100 Queen Elizabeth. [1554. 

Elizabeth's position. Legitimacy of Mary and Elizabeth's birth. 

Chapter V. 

Elizabeth in the Tower. 

FT1HE imprisonment of Queen Elizabeth in 
-■- the Tower, which was briefly alluded to in 
the last chapter, deserves a more full narration 
than was possible to give to it there. She had re- 
tired from court some time before the difficulties 
about the Spanish match arose. It is true that 
she took sides with Mary in the contest with 
Northumberland and the friends of Jane Grey, 
and she shared her royal sister's triumph in the 
pomp and parade of the coronation ; but, after all, 
she and Mary could not possibly be very good 
friends. The marriages of their respective moth- 
ers could not both have been valid. Henry the 
Eighth was so impatient that he could not wait 
for a divorce from Catharine before he married 
Anne Boleyn. The only way to make the lat- 
ter marriage legal, therefore, was to consider the 
former one null and void from the beginning ; 
and if the former one was not thus null and void, 
the latter must be so. If Henry had waited for 
a divorce, then both marriages might have been 

1554.] Elizabeth in the Tower. 101 

Mary and Elizabeth's differences. Courteney's long imprisonment. 

valid, each for the time of its own continuance, 
and both the princesses might have been lawful 
heirs ; but as it was, neither of them could 
maintain her own claims to be considered a law- 
ful daughter, without denying, by implication 
at least, those of the other. They were there- 
fore, as it were, natural enemies. Though they 
might be outwardly civil to each other, it was 
not possible that there could be any true har- 
mony or friendship between them. 

A circumstance occurred, too, soon after 
Mary's accession to the throne, which result- 
ed in openly alienating the feelings of the two 
ladies from each other. There was a certain 
prisoner in the Tower of London, a gentleman 
of high rank and great consideration, named 
Courteney, now about twenty-six years of age, 
who had been imprisoned in the Tower by King 
Henry the Eighth when he was only twelve 
years old, on account of some political offenses 
of his father ! He had thus been a close pris- 
oner for fourteen years at Mary's accession ; but 
Mary released him. It was found, when he re- 
turned to society again, that he had employed 
his solitary hours in cultivating his mind, ac- 
quiring knowledge, and availing himself of all 
the opportunities for improvement which his 

102 Queen Elizabeth. [1554. 

Mary's attentions to Courteney. Courtc-ney's attentions to Elizabeth. 

situation afforded, and that he came forth an 
intelligent, accomplished, and very agreeable 
man. The interest which his appearance and 
manners excited was increased by the sympa- 
thy naturally felt for the sufferings that he had 
endured. In a word, he became a general fa- 
vorite. The rank of his family was high enough 
for Mary to think of him for her husband, for 
this was before the Spanish match was thought 
of. Mary granted him a title, and large estates, 
and showed him many other favors, and, as 
every body supposed, tried very hard to make 
an impression on his heart. Her efforts were, 
however, vain. Courteney gave an obvious pref- 
erence to Elizabeth, who was young then, at 
least, if not beautiful. This successful rivalry 
on the part of her sister filled the queen's heart 
with resentment and envy, and she exhibited 
her chagrin by so many little marks of neglect 
and incivility, that Elizabeth's resentment was 
roused in its turn, and she asked permission to 
retire from court to her residence in the coun- 
try. Mary readily gave the permission, and 
thus it happened that when Wyatt's rebellion 
first broke out, as described in the last chapter, 
Elizabeth was living in retirement and seclu- 
sion at Ashridge, an estate of hers at some dis- 

1554.] Elizabeth in the Tower. 103 

Mary's plan to get Elizabeth in her power. Elizabeth's wariness. 

tance west of London. As to Courteney, Mary 
found some pretext or other for sending him 
back again to his prison in the Tower. 

Mary was immediately afraid that the mal- 
contents would join with Elizabeth and attempt 
to put forward her name and her claims to the 
crown, which, if they were to do, it would make 
their movement very formidable. She was im- 
pressed immediately with the idea that it was 
of great importance to get Elizabeth back again 
into her power. The most probable way of 
succeeding in doing this, she thought, was to 
write her a kind and friendly letter, inviting her 
to return. She accordingly wrote such a letter. 
She said in it that certain evil-disposed persons 
were plotting some disturbances in the kingdom, 
and that she thought that Elizabeth was not 
safe where she was. She urged her, therefore, 
to return, saying that she should be truly wel- 
come, and should be protected against all dan- 
ger if she would come. 

An invitation from a queen is a command, 
and Elizabeth would have felt bound to obey 
this summons, but she was sick when it came. 
At least she was not well, and she was not 
much disposed to underrate her sickness for the 
sake of being; able to travel on this occasion. 

104 Queen Elizabeth. [1554. 

Wyatt accuses Elizabeth. Her seizure. 

The officers of her household made out a formal 
certificate to the effect that Elizabeth was not 
able to undertake such a journey. 

In the mean time Wyatt's rebellion broke 
out ; he marched to London, was entrapped 
there and taken prisoner, as is related at length 
in the last chapter. In his confessions he im- 
plicated the Princess Elizabeth, and also Courte- 
ney, and Mary's government then determined 
that they must secure Elizabeth's person at all 
events, sick or well. They sent, therefore, three 
gentlemen as commissioners, with a troop of 
horse to attend them, to bring her to London. 
They carried the queen's litter with them, to 
bring the princess upon it in case she should 
be found unable to travel in any other way. 

This party arrived at Ashridge at ten o'clock 
at night. They insisted on being admitted at 
once into the chamber of Elizabeth, and there 
they made known their errand. Elizabeth was 
terrified ; she begged not to be moved, as she 
was really too sick to go. They called in some 
physicians, who certified that she could be moved 
without danger to her life. The next morning 
they put her upon the litter, a sort of covered 
bed, formed like a palanquin, and borne, like a 
palanquin, by men. It was twenty-nine miles 

1554.] Elizabeth in the Tower. 105 

Elizabeth borne in a litter. She is examined and released. 

to London, and it took the party four days to 
reach the city, they moved so slowly. This cir- 
cumstance is mentioned sometimes as showing 
how sick Elizabeth must have been. But the 
fact is, there was no reason whatever for any 
haste. Elizabeth was now completely in Mary's 
power, and it could make no possible difference 
how long she was upon the road. 

The litter passed along the roads in great 
state. It was a princess that they were bear- 
ing. As they approached London, a hundred 
men in handsome uniforms went before, and an 
equal number followed. A great many people 
came out from the city to meet the princess, as 
a token of respect. This displeased Mary, but 
it could not well be prevented or punished. On 
their arrival they took Elizabeth to one of the 
palaces at Westminster, called Whitehall. She 
was examined by Mary's privy council. Noth- 
ing was proved against her, and, as the rebellion 
seemed now wholly at an end, she was at length 
released, and thus ended her first durance as a 
political prisoner. 

It happened, however, that other persons im- 
plicated in Wyatt's plot, when examined, made 
charges against Elizabeth in respect to it, and 
Queen Mary sent another force and arrested 

106 Queen Elizabeth. [1554. 

Elizabeth again arrested. Her letter to Mary. 

her again. She was taken now to a famous 
royal palace, called Hampton Court, which is 
situated on the Thames, a few miles above the 
city. She brought many of the officers of her 
household and of her personal attendants with 
her ; but one of the queen's ministers, accom- 
panied by two other officers, came soon after, 
and dismissed all her own attendants, and placed 
persons in the service of the queen in their place. 
They also set a guard around the palace, and 
then left the princess, for the night, a close 
prisoner, and yet without any visible signs of 
coercion, for all these guards might be guards 
of honor. 

The next day some officers came again, and 
told her that it had been decided to send her to 
the Tower, and that a barge was ready at the 
river to convey her. She was very much agi- 
tated and alarmed, and begged to be allowed to 
send a letter to her sister before they took her 
away. One of the officers insisted that she 
should have the privilege, and the other that 
she should not. The former conquered in the 
contest, and Elizabeth wrote the letter and sent 
it. It contained an earnest and solemn disavow- 
al of all participation in the plots which she had 
been charged with encouraging, and begged 

1554.] Elizabeth in the Tower. 107 

Situation of the Tower. Tho Traitors' Gate 

Mary to believe that she was innocent, and al- 
low her to be released. 

The letter did no good. Elizabeth was tak- 
en into the barge and conveyed in a very pri- 
vate manner down the river. Hampton Court 
is above London several miles, and the Tower 
is just below the city. There are several en- 
trances to this vast castle, some of them by 
stairs from the river. Among these is one by 
which prisoners accused of great political crimes 
were usually taken in, and which is called the 
Traitors' Gate. There was another entrance, 
also, from the river, by which a more honorable 
admission to the fortress might be attained. The 
Tower was not solely a prison. It was often a 
place of retreat for kings and queens from any 
sudden danger, and was frequently occupied by 
them as a somewhat permanent residence. 
There were a great number of structures with- 
in the walls, in some of which royal apartments 
were fitted up with great splendor. Elizabeth 
had often been in the Tower as a resident or 
a visitor, and thus far there was nothing in the 
circumstances of the case to forbid the supposi- 
tion that they might be taking her there as a 
guest or resident now. She was anxious and 
uneasy, it is true, but she was not certain that 
she was regarded as a prisoner. 

108 Queen Elizabeth. [1554. 

Elizabeth conveyed to the Tower. She is landed at the Traitors' Gate. 

In the mean time, the barge, with the other 
boats in attendance, passed down the river in 
the rain, for it was a stormy day, a circum- 
stance which aided the authorities in their ef- 
fort to convey their captive to her gloomy pris- 
on without attracting the attention of the pop- 
ulace. Besides, it was the day of some great 
religious festival, when the people were gener- 
ally in the churches. This day had been cho- 
sen on that very account. The barge and the 
boats came down the river, therefore, without 
attracting much attention ; they approached the 
landing-place at last, and stopped at the flight 
of steps leading up from the water to the Trai- 
tors' Gate. 

Elizabeth declared that she was no traitor, 
and that she would not be landed there. The 
nobleman who had charge of her told her sim- 
ply, in reply, that she could not have her choice 
of a place to land. At the same time, he offered 
her his cloak to protect her from the rain in pass- 
ing from the barge to the castle gate. Umbrel- 
las had not been invented in those days. Eliz- 
abeth threw the cloak away from her in vexa- 
tion and anger. She found, however, that it 
was of no use to resist. She could not choose. 
She stepped from the barge out upon the stairs 

1554.] Elizabeth in the Tower. 109 

Elizabeth's reception at the Tower. Her unwillingness to enter. 

in the rain, saying, as she did so, "Here lands 
as true and faithful a subject as ever landed a 
prisoner at these stairs. Before thee, O God, I 
speak it, having now no friends but thee alone." 

A large company of the warders and keepers 
of the castle 'had been drawn up at the Traitors' 
Gate to receive her, as was customary on occa- 
sions when prisoners of high rank were to en- 
ter the Tower. As these men were always 
dressed in uniform of a peculiar antique char- 
acter, such a parade of them made quite an im- 
posing appearance. Elizabeth asked what it 
meant. They told her that that was the cus- 
tomary mode of receiving a prisoner. She said 
that if it was, she hoped that they would dis- 
pense with the ceremony in her case, and ask- 
ed that, for her sake, the men might be dismiss- 
ed from such attendance in so inclement a sea- 
son. The men blessed her for her goodness, and 
kneeled down and prayed that God would pre- 
serve her. 

She was extremely unwilling to go into the 
prison. As they approached the part of the ed- 
ifice where she was to be confined, through the 
court-yard of the Tower, she stopped and sat 
down upon a stone, perhaps a step, or the curb 
stone of a walk. The lieutenant urged her to 

110 Queen Elizabeth. [1554. 

Elizabeth's indignation and grief- She is closely imprisoned. 

go in out of the cold and wet. " Better sitting 
here than in a worse place," she replied, " for 
God knoweth whither you are bringing me." 
However, she rose and went on. She entered 
the prison, was conducted to her room, and the 
doors were locked and bolted upon her. 

Elizabeth was kept closely imprisoned for a 
month ; after that, some little relaxation in the 
strictness of her seclusion was allowed. Per- 
mission was very reluctantly granted to her to 
walk every day in the royal apartments, which 
were now unoccupied, so that there was no so- 
ciety to be found there, but it afforded her a 
sort of pleasure to range through them for rec- 
reation and exercise. But this privilege could 
not be accorded without very strict limitations 
and conditions. Two officers of the Tower and 
three women had to attend her ; the windows, 
too, were shut, and she was not permitted to 
go and look out at them. This was rather mel- 
ancholy recreation, it must be allowed, but it 
was better than being shut up all day in a sin- 
gle apartment, bolted and barred. 

There was a small garden within the castle 
not far from the prison, and after some time 
Elizabeth was permitted to walk there. The 
gates and doors, however, were kept carefully 

1554.] Elizabeth in the Tower. 113 

Elizabeth in the garden. • The little child and the flowers. 

closed, and all the prisoners, whose rooms looked 
into it from the surrounding buildings, were 
closely watched by their respective keepers, 
while Elizabeth was in the garden, to prevent 
their having any communication with her by 
looks or signs. There were a great many per- 
sons confined at this time, who had been ar- 
rested on charges connected with Wyatt's re- 
bellion, and the authorities seem to have been 
very specially watchful to prevent the possibil- 
ity of Elizabeth's having communication with 
any of them. There was a little child of five 
years of age who used to come and visit Eliza- 
beth in her room, and bring her flowers. He 
was the son of one of the subordinate officers 
of the Tower. It was, however, at last suspect- 
ed that he was acting as a messenger between 
Elizabeth and Courteney. Courteney, it will 
be recollected, had been sent by Mary back to 
the Tower again, so that he and Elizabeth were 
now suffering the same hard fate in neighbor- 
ing cells. When the boy was suspected of bear- 
ing communications between these friends and 
companions in suffering, he was called before 
an officer and closely examined. His answers 
were all open and childlike, and gave no con- 
firmation to the idea which had been entertain* 

114 Queen Elizabeth. [1554. 

Elizabeth greatly alarmed. Her removal from the Tower. 

ed. The child, however, was forbidden to go 
to Elizabeth's apartment any more. He was 
very much grieved at this, and he watched for 
the next time that Elizabeth was to walk in 
the garden, and putting his mouth to a hole in 
the gate, he called out, " Lady, I can not bring 
you any more flowers." 

After Elizabeth had been thus confined about 
three months, she was one day terribly alarmed 
by the sounds of martial parade within the Tow- 
er, produced by the entrance of an officer from 
Queen Mary, named Sir Henry Beddingfield, 
at the head of three hundred men. Elizabeth 
supposed that they were come to execute sen- 
tence of death upon her. She asked immedi- 
ately if the platform on which Lady Jane Grey 
was beheaded had been taken away. They 
told her that it had been removed. She was 
then somewhat relieved. They afterward told 
her that Sir Thomas had come to take her away 
from the Tower, but that it was not known 
where she was to go. This alarmed her again, 
and she sent for the constable of the Tower, 
whose name was Lord Chandos, and questioned 
him very closely to learn what they were going 
to do with her. He said that it had been de- 
cided to remove her from the Tower, and send 

1554.] Elizabeth 



Tower. 115 

Elizabeth's fears. 

Mary's designs. 

her to a place called Woodstock, where she was 
to remain under Sir Thomas Beddingfield's cus- 
tody, at a royal palace which was situated there. 
Woodstock is forty or fifty miles to the west- 
ward of London, and not far from the city of 

Elizabeth was very much alarmed at this in- 
telligence. Her mind was filled with vague 
and uncertain fears and forebodings, which 
were none the less oppressive for being uncer- 
tain and vague. She had, however, no imme- 
diate cause for apprehension. Mary found that 
there was no decisive evidence against her, and 
did not dare to keep her a prisoner in the Tow- 
er too long. There was a large and influential 
part of the kingdom who were Protestants. 
They were jealous of the progress Mary was 
making toward bringing the Catholic religion 
in again. They abhorred the Spanish match. 
They naturally looked to Elizabeth as their lead- 
er and head, and Mary thought that by too great 
or too long-continued harshness in her treat- 
ment of Elizabeth, she would only exasperate 
them, and perhaps provoke a new outbreak 
against her authority. She determined, there- 
fore, to remove the princess from the Tower to 
some less odious place of confinement. 

11(5 Queen Elizabeth. [1554. 

Elizabeth taken to Richmond. Mary's plan for marrying her. 

She was taken first to Queen Mary's court, 
which was then held at Richmond, just above 
London ; but she was surrounded here by sol- 
diers and guards, and confined almost as strict- 
ly as before. She was destined, however, here 
to another surprise. It was a proposition of 
marriage. Mary had been arranging a plan 
for making her the wife of a certain personage 
styled the Duke of Savoy. His dominions were 
on the confines of Switzerland and France, and 
Mary thought that if her rival were once mar- 
ried and removed there, all the troubles which 
she (Mary) had experienced on her account 
would be ended forever. She thought, too, that 
her sister would be glad to accept this offer, 
which opened such an immediate escape from 
the embarrassments and sufferings of her situa- 
tion in England. But Elizabeth was prompt, 
decided, and firm in the rejection of this plan. 
England was her home, and to be Queen of En- 
gland the end and aim of all her wishes and 
plans. She had rather continue a captive for 
the present in her native land, than to live in 
splendor as the consort of a sovereign duke be- 
yond the Rhone. 

Mary then ordered Sir Thomas Beddingfield 
to take her to Woodstock. She traveled on 

1554.] Elizabeth in the Tower. 117 

Elizabeth's journey to Woodstock. Christmas festivities. 

horseback, and was several days on the journey. 
Her passage through the country attracted great 
attention. The people assembled by the way- 
side, expressing their kind wishes, and offering 
her gifts. The bells were rung in the villages 
through which she passed. She arrived finally 
at Woodstock, and was shut up in the palace 

This was in July, and she remained in Wood- 
stock more than a year, not, however, always 
very closely confined. At Christmas she was 
taken to court, and allowed to share in the fes- 
tivities and rejoicings. On this occasion — it 
was the first Christmas after the marriage of 
Mary and Philip — the great hall of the palace 
was illuminated with a thousand lamps. The 
princess sat at table next to the king and queen. 
She was on other occasions, too, taken away 
for a time, and then returned again to her se- 
clusion at Woodstock. These changes, perhaps, 
only served to make her feel more than ever the 
hardships of her lot. They say that one day, 
as she sat at her window, she heard a milk- 
maid singing in the fields, in a blithe and mer- 
ry strain, and said, with a sigh, that she wished 
she was a milk-maid too. 

King Philip, after his marriage, gradually 

118 Queen Elizabeth. [1555. 

Elizabeth persists in her innocence. The torch-light visit. 

interested himself in her behalf, and exerted his 
influence to have her released ; and Mary's min- 
isters had frequent interviews with her, and en- 
deavored to induce her to make some confession 
of guilt, and to petition Mary for release as a 
matter of mercy. They could not, they said, 
release her while she persisted in her innocence, 
without admitting that they and Mary had been 
in the wrong, and had imprisoned her unjustly. 
But the princess was immovable. She declar- 
ed that she was perfectly innocent, and that she 
would never, therefore, say that she was guilty. 
She would rather remain in prison for the truth, 
than be at liberty and have it believed that she 
had been guilty of disloyalty and treason. 

At length, one evening in May, Elizabeth 
received a summons to go to the palace and 
visit Mary in her chamber. She was conduct- 
ed there by torch-light. She had a long inter- 
view with the queen, the conversation being 
partly in English and partly in Spanish. It was 
not very satisfactory on either side. Elizabeth 
persisted in asserting her innocence, but in 
other respects she spoke in a kind and concilia- 
tory manner to the queen. The interview ended 
in a sort of reconciliation. Mary put a valua- 
ble ring upon Elizabeth's finger in token of the 

1555.] Elizabeth in the Tower. 119 

Reconcilation between Elizabeth and Mary. Elizabeth's release. 

renewal of friendship, and soon afterward the 
long period of restraint and confinement was 
ended, and the princess returned to her own es- 
tate at Hatfield in Hertfordshire, where she 
lived some time in seclusion, devoting herself, 
in a great measure, to the study of Latin and 
Greek, under the instructions of Roger Ascham. 

120 Queen Elizabeth. [1555. 

Mary's unhappy reign. Unrequited love. 


Chapter VI. 

Accession to the Throne. 

F it were the story of Mary instead of that 
of Elizabeth that we were following, we 
should have now to pause and draw a very 
melancholy picture of the scenes which dark- 
ened the close of the queen's unfortunate and 
unhappy history. Mary loved her husband, but 
she could not secure his love in return. He 
treated her with supercilious coldness and neg- 
lect, and evinced, from time to time, a degree 
of interest in other ladies which awakened her 
jealousy and anger. Of all the terrible convul- 
sions to which the human soul is subject, there 
is not one which agitates it more deeply than 
the tumult of feeling produced by the mingling 
of resentment and love. Such a mingling, or, 
rather, such a conflict, between passions appa- 
rently inconsistent with each other, is generally 
considered not possible by those who have never 
experienced it. But it is possible. It is possi- 
ble to be stung with a sense of the ingratitude, 
and selfishness, and cruelty of an object, which, 

1555.] Accession to the Throne. 121 

Mary's sufferings. Her religious principles. 

after all, the heart will persist in clinging to 
with the fondest affection. Vexation and anger, 
a burning sense of injury, and desire for revenge, 
on the one hand, and feelings of love, resistless 
and uncontrollable, and bearing, in their turn, 
all before them, alternately get possession of the 
soul, harrowing and devastating it in their aw- 
ful conflict, and even sometimes reigning over 
it, for a time, in a temporary but dreadful calm, 
like that of two wrestlers who pause a moment, 
exhausted in a mortal combat, but grappling 
each other with deadly energy all the time, 
while they are taking breath for a renewal of 
the conflict. Queen Mary, in one of these par- 
oxysms, seized a portrait of her husband and 
tore it into shreds. The reader, who has his or 
her experience in affairs of the heart yet to 
come, will say, perhaps, her love for him then 
must have been all gone. No ; it was at its 
height. We do not tear the portraits of those 
who are indifferent to us. 

At the beginning of her reign, and, in fact, 
during all the previous periods of her life, Mary 
had been an honest and conscientious Catholic. 
She undoubtedly truly believed that the Chris- 
tian Church ought to be banded together in one 
great communion, with the Pope of Rome as its 

122 Queen Elizabeth. [1555. 

Progress of Mary's Catholic zeal. Her moderation at first. 

spiritual head, and that her father had broken 
away from this communion — which was, in fact, 
strictly true — merely to obtain a pretext for get- 
ting released from her mother. How natural, 
under such circumstances, that she should have 
desired to return. She commenced, immediately 
on her accession, a course of measures to bring 
the nation back to the Roman Catholic com- 
munion. She managed very prudently and 
cautiously at first — especially while the affair 
of her marriage was pending — seemingly very 
desirous of doing nothing to exasperate those 
who were of the Protestant faith, or even to 
awaken their opposition. After she was mar- 
ried, however, her desire to please her Catholic 
husband, and his widely-extended and influential 
circle of Catholic friends on the Continent, made 
her more eager to press forward the work of 
putting down the Reformation in England ; and 
as her marriage was now effected, she was less 
concerned about the consequences of any oppo- 
sition which she might excite. Then, besides, 
her temper, never very sweet, was sadly soured 
by her husband's treatment of her. She vent-- 
ed her ill will upon those who would not yield 
to her wishes in respect to their religious faith. 
She caused more and more severe laws to be 

1555.] Accession to the Throne. 123 

Mary's terrible persecution of the Protestants. Burning at the stake. 

passed, and enforced them by more and more 
severe penalties. The more she pressed these 
violent measures, the more the fortitude and res- 
olution of those who suffered from them were 
aroused. And, on the other hand, the more 
they resisted, the more determined she became 
that she would compel them to submit. She 
went on from one mode of coercion to another, 
until she reached the last possible point, and 
inflicted the most dreadful physical suffering 
which it is possible for man to inflict upon his 

This worst and most terrible injury is to burn 
the living victim in a fire. That a woman could 
ever order this to be done would seem to be in- 
credible. Queen Mary, however, and her gov- 
ernment, were so determined to put down, at 
all hazards, all open disaffection to the Catho- 
lic cause, that they did not give up the contest 
until they had burned nearly three hundred per- 
sons by fire, of whom more than fifty were wom- 
en, and four were children ! This horrible per- 
secution was, however, of no avail. Dissen- 
tients increased faster than they could be burn- 
ed ; and such dreadful punishments became at 
last so intolerably odious to the nation that they 
were obliged to desist, and then the various 

124 Queen Elizabeth. [1557. 

The title of Bloody given to Mary. Mary and Elizabeth reconciled. 

ministers of state concerned in them attempt- 
ed to throw off the blame upon each other. The 
English nation have never forgiven Mary for 
these atrocities. They gave her the name of 
Bloody Mary at the time, and she has retained 
it to the present day. In one of the ancient his- 
tories of the realm, at the head of the chapter 
devoted to Mary, there is placed, as an appro- 
priate emblem of the character of her reign, the 
picture of a man writhing helplessly at a stake, 
with the flames curling around him, and a fe- 
rocious-looking soldier standing by, stirring up 
the fire. 

The various disappointments, vexations, and 
trials which Mary endured toward the close of 
her life, had one good effect ; they softened the 
animosity which she had felt toward Elizabeth, 
and in the end something like a friendship seem- 
ed to spring up between the sisters. Abandon- 
ed by her husband, and looked upon with dis- 
like or hatred by her subjects, and disappointed 
in all her plans, she seemed to turn at last to 
Elizabeth for companionship and comfort. The 
sisters visited each other. First Elizabeth went 
to London to visit the queen, and was received 
with great ceremony and parade. Then the 
queen went to Hatfield to visit the princess, at- 

1557.] Accession to the Throne. 125 

Scenes of festivity. The war with France- 

tended by a large company of ladies and gentle- 
men of the court, and several days were spent 
there in festivities and rejoicings. There were 
plays in the palace, and a bear-baiting in the 
court-yard, and hunting in the park, and many 
other schemes of pleasure. This renewal of 
friendly intercourse between the queen and the 
princess brought the latter gradually out of her 
retirement. Now that the queen began to evince 
a friendly spirit toward her, it was safe for oth- 
ers to show her kindness and to pay her atten- 
tion. The disposition to do this increased rap- 
idly as Mary's health gradually declined, and it 
began to be understood that she would not live 
long, and that, consequently, Elizabeth would 
soon be called to the throne. 

The war which Mary had been drawn into 
with France, by Philip's threat that he would 
never see her again, proved very disastrous. 
The town of Calais, which is opposite to Dover, 
across the straits, and, of course, on the French 
side of the channel, had been in the possession 
of the English for two hundred years. It was 
very gratifying to English pride to hold posses- 
sion of such a stronghold on the French shore; 
but now every thing seemed to go against Mary. 
Calais was defended by a citadel nearly as large 

126 Queen Elizabeth. [1558. 

Loss of Calais. Murmurs of the English. 

as the town itself, and was deemed impregna- 
ble. In addition to this, an enormous English 
force was concentrated there. The French gen- 
eral, however, contrived, partly by stratagem, 
and partly by overpowering numbers of troops, 
and ships, and batteries of cannon, to get pos- 
session of the whole. The English nation were 
indignant at this result. Their queen and her 
government, so energetic in imprisoning and 
burning her own subjects at home, were pow- 
erless, it seemed, in coping with their enemies 
abroad. Murmurs of dissatisfaction were heard 
every where, and Mary sank down upon her 
sick bed overwhelmed with disappointment, vex- 
ation, and chagrin. She said that she should 
die, and that if, after her death, they examined 
her body, they would find Calais like a load 
upon her heart. 

In the mean time, it must have been Eliza- 
beth's secret wish that she would die, since her 
death would release the princess from all the 
embarrassments and restraints of her position, 
and raise her at once to the highest pinnacle 
of honor and power. She remained, however, 
quietly at Hatfield, acting in all things in a 
very discreet and cautious manner. At one 
time she received proposals from the King of 

1557.] Accession to the Throne. 127 

King of Sweden's proposal to Elizabeth. Mary's energy. 

Sweden that she would accept of his son as her 
husband. She asked the embassador if he had 
communicated the affair to Mary. On his re- 
plying that he had not, Elizabeth said that she 
could not entertain at all any such question, 
unless her sister were first consulted and should 
give her approbation. She acted on the same 
principles in every thing, being very cautious to 
give Mary and her government no cause of 
complaint against her, and willing to wait pa- 
tiently until her own time should come. 

Though Mary's disappointments and losses 
filled her mind with anguish and suffering, they 
did not soften her heart. She seemed to grow 
more cruel and vindictive the more her plans 
and projects failed. Adversity vexed and irri- 
tated, instead of calming and subduing her. 
She revived her persecutions of the Protest- 
ants. She fitted out 'a fleet of a hundred and 
twenty ships to make a descent upon the French 
coast, and attempt to retrieve her fallen fortunes 
there. She called Parliament together and ask- 
ed for more supplies. All this time she was 
confined to her sick chamber, but not considered 
in danger. The Parliament were debating the 
question of supplies. Her privy council were 
holding daily meetings to carry out the plans 

128 Queen Elizabeth. [1558. 

Mary's privy council alarmed. Their perplexity. 

and schemes which she still continued to form, 
and all was excitement and bustle in and around 
the court, when one day the council was thun- 
derstruck by an announcement that she was 

They knew very well that her death would 
be a terrible blow to them. They were all 
Catholics, and had been Mary's instruments in 
the terrible persecutions with which she had 
oppressed the Protestant faith. With Mary's 
death, of course they would fall. A Protestant 
princess was ready, at Hatfield, to ascend the 
throne. Every thing would be changed, and 
there was even danger that they might, in their 
turn, be sent to the stake, in retaliation for the 
cruelties which they had caused others to suffer. 
They made arrangements to have Mary's death, 
whenever it should take place, concealed for a 
few hours, till they could consider what they 
should do. 

There was nothing that they could do. There 
was now no other considerable claimant to the 
throne but Elizabeth, except Mary Queen of 
Scots, who was far away in France. She was 
a Catholic, it was true ; but to bring her into 
the country and place her upon the throne 
seemed to be a hopeless undertaking. Queen 

1558.] Accession to the Throne. 129 

Uncertainty about Elizabeth's future course. Her cautious policy. 

Mary's counselors soon found that they must 
give up their cause in despair. Any attempt 
to resist Elizabeth's claims would be high trea- 
son, and, of course, if unsuccessful, would bring 
the heads of all concerned in it to the block. 

Besides, it was not certain that Elizabeth 
would act decidedly as a Protestant. She had 
been very prudent and cautious during Mary's 
reign, and had been very careful never to man- 
ifest any hostility to the Catholics. She never 
had acted as Mary had done on the occasion 
of her brother's funeral, when she refused even 
to countenance with her presence the national 
service because it was under Protestant forms. 
Elizabeth had always accompanied Mary to 
mass whenever occasion required ; she had al- 
ways spoken respectfully of the Catholic faith ; 
and once she asked Mary to lend her some Cath- 
olic books, in order that she might inform her- 
self more fully on the subject of the principles 
of the Roman faith. It is true, she acted thus, 
not because there was any real leaning in her 
mind toward the Catholic religion ; it was all 
merely a wise and sagacious policy. Surround- 
ed by difficulties and dangers as she was dur- 
ing Mary's reign, her only hope of safety was 
in passing as quietly as possible along, and man- 

130 Queen Elizabeth. [1558. 

Death of Mary. Announcement to Parliament. 

aging warily, so as to keep the hostility which 
was burning secretly against her from break- 
ing out into an open flame. This was her ob- 
ject in retiring so much from the court and from 
all participation in public affairs, in avoiding all 
religious and political contests, and spending her 
time in the study of Greek, and Latin, and 
philosophy. The consequence was, that when 
Mary died, nobody knew certainly what course 
Elizabeth would pursue. Nobody had any 
strong motive for opposing her succession. The 
council, therefore, after a short consultation, con- 
cluded to do nothing but simply to send a mes- 
sage to the House of Lords, announcing to them 
the unexpected death of the queen. 

The House of Lords, on receiving this intel- 
ligence, sent for the Commons to come into their 
hall, as is usual when any important commu- 
nication is to be inade to them either by the 
Lords themselves or by the sovereign. The 
chancellor, who is the highest civil officer of the 
kingdom in respect to rank, and who presides 
in the House of Lords, clothed in a magnificent 
antique costume, then rose and announced to 
the Commons, standing before him, the death 
of the sovereign. There was a moment's sol- 
emn pause, such as propriety on the occasion of 

1558.] Accession to the Throne. 131 

Elizabeth proclaimed. Joy of the people. 

an announcement like this required, all thoughts 
being, too, for a moment turned to the chamber 
where the body of the departed queen was ly- 
ing. But the sovereignty was no longer there. 
The mysterious principle had fled with the part- 
ing breath, and Elizabeth, though wholly un- 
conscious of it, had been for several hours the 
queen. The thoughts, therefore, of the august 
and solemn assembly lingered but for a moment 
in the royal palace, which had now lost all its 
glory ; they soon turned spontaneously, and with 
eager haste, to the new sovereign at Hatfield, 
and the lofty arches of the Parliament hall rung 
with loud acclamations, " God save Queen Eliz- 
abeth, and grant her a long and happy reign." 
The members of the Parliament went forth 
immediately to proclaim the new queen. There 
are two principal places where it was then cus- 
tomary to proclaim the English sovereigns. One 
of these was before the royal palace at West- 
minster, and the other in the city of London, 
at a very public place called the Great Cross 
at Cheapside. The people assembled in great 
crowds at these points to witness the ceremony, 
and received the announcement which the her- 
alds made with the most ardent expressions of 
joy. The bells were every where rung ; tables 

132 Queen Elizabeth. [1558. 

The Te Deum. Elizabeth's emotions. 

were spread in the streets, and booths erected ; 
bonfires and illuminations were prepared for the 
evening, and every thing indicated a deep and 
universal joy. 

In fact, this joy was so strongly expressed as 
to be even in some degree disrespectful to the 
memory of the departed queen. There is a fa- 
mous ancient Latin hymn which has long been 
sung in England and on the Continent of Eu- 
rope on occasions of great public rejoicing. It 
is called the Te Deum, or sometimes the Te 
Deum Laudamus. These last are the three 
Latin words with which the hymn commences, 
and mean, Thee, God, we praise. They sung 
the Te Deum in the churches of London on 
the Sunday after Mary died. 

In the mean time, messengers from the coun- 
cil proceeded with all speed to Hatfield, to an- 
nounce to Elizabeth the death of her sister, and 
her own accession to the sovereign power. The 
tidings, of course, filled Elizabeth's mind with 
the deepest emotions. The oppressive sense of 
constraint and danger which she had endured 
as her daily burden for so many years, was lifted 
suddenly from her soul. She could not but re- 
joice, though she was too much upon her guard 
to express her joy. She was overwhelmed with 

1558.] Accession to the Throne. 133 

Cecil made secretary of state. His faithfulness. 

a profound agitation, and, kneeling down, she 
exclaimed in Latin, " It is the Lord's doing, 
and it is wonderful in our eyes." 

Several of the members of Mary's privy coun- 
cil repaired immediately to Hatfield. The 
queen summoned them to attend her, and in 
their presence appointed her chief secretary of 
state. His name was Sir William Cecil. He 
was a man of great learning and ability, and he 
remained in office under Elizabeth for forty 
years. He became her chief adviser and instru- 
ment, an able, faithful, and indefatigable serv- 
ant and friend during almost the whole of her 
reign. His name is accordingly indissolubly 
connected with that of Elizabeth in all the po- 
litical events which occurred while she contin- 
ued upon the throne, and it will, in consequence, 
very frequently occurjn the sequel of this his- 
tory. He was now about forty years of age. 
Elizabeth was twenty-five. 

Elizabeth had known Cecil long before. He 
had been a faithful and true friend to her in her 
adversity. He had been, in many cases, a con- 
fidential adviser, and had maintained a secret 
correspondence with her in certain trying peri- 
ods of her life. She had resolved, doubtless, to 
make him her chief secretary of state so soon 

lo4 Queen Elizabeth. [1558. 

Elizabeth's charge to Cecil. Her journey to London. 

as she should succeed to the throne. And now 
that the time had arrived, she instated him sol- 
emnly in his office. In so doing, she pronounc- 
ed, in the hearing of the other members of the 
council, the following charge: 

" I give you this charge that you shall be of 
my privy council, and content yourself to take 
pains for me and my realm. This judgment I 
have of you, that you will not be corrupted with 
any gift ; and that you will be faithful to the 
state ; and that, without respect of my private 
will, you will give me that counsel that you 
think best ; and that, if you shall know any 
thing necessary to be declared to me of secrecy, 
you shall show it to myself only ; and assure 
yourself I will not fail to keep taciturnity there- 
in. And therefore herewith I charge you." 

It was about a week after the death of Mary 
before the arrangements were completed for 
Elizabeth's journey to London, to take posses- 
sion of the castles and palaces which pertain 
there to the English sovereigns. She was fol- 
lowed on this journey by a train of about a thou- 
sand attendants, all nobles or personages of high 
rank, both gentlemen and ladies. She went 
first to a palace called the Charter House, near 


1558.] Accession to the Throne. 137 

Elizabeth's triumphant entrance into the Tower. 

London, where she stopped until preparations 
could be made for her formal and public entrance 
into the Tower ; not, as before, through the Trai- 
tors' Gate, a prisoner, but openly, through the 
grand entrance, in the midst of acclamations, 
as the proud and applauded sovereign of the 
mighty realm whose capital the ancient fortress 
was stationed to defend. The streets through 
which the gorgeous procession was to pass were 
spread with fine, smooth gravel ; bands of mu- 
sicians were stationed at intervals, and decora- 
ted arches, and banners, and flags, with count- 
less devices of loyalty and welcome, and waving 
handkerchiefs, greeted her all the way. Heralds 
and other great officers, magnificently dressed, 
and mounted on horses richly caparisoned, rode 
before her, announcing her approach, with trum- 
pets and proclamations, while she followed in 
the train, mounted upon a beautiful horse, the 
object of universal homage. Thus Elizabeth 
entered the Tower ; and inasmuch as forgetting 
her friends is a fault with which she can not just- 
ly be charged, we may hope, at least, that one of 
the first acts which she performed, after getting 
established in the royal apartments, was to send 
for and reward the kind-hearted child who had 
been reprimanded for bringing her the flowers. 

138 Queen Elizabeth. [1558. 

The coronation. Pageants in the streets. 

The coronation, when the time arrived for it, 
was very splendid. The queen went in state 
in a sumptuous chariot, preceded by trumpeters 
and heralds in armor, and accompanied by a 
long train of noblemen, barons, and gentlemen, 
and also of ladies, all most richly dressed in 
crimson velvet, the trappings of the horses be- 
ing of the same material. The people of Lon- 
don thronged all the streets through which she 
was to pass, and made the air resound with 
shouts and acclamations. There were triumph- 
al arches erected here and there on the way, 
with a great variety of odd and quaint devices, 
with a child stationed upon each, who explain- 
ed the devices to Elizabeth as she passed, in 
English verse, written for the occasion. One 
of these pageants was entitled "The Seat of 
worthy Governance." There was a throne, 
supported by figures which represented the car- 
dinal virtues, such as Piety, Wisdom, Temper- 
ance, Industry, Truth, and beneath their feet 
were the opposite vices, Superstition, Ignorance, 
Intemperance, Idleness, and Falsehood : these 
the virtues were trampling upon. On the throne 
was a representation of Elizabeth. At one place 
were eight personages dressed to represent the 
eight beatitudes pronounced by our Savior in 

1558.] Accession to the Throne. 139 

Devices. Presentation of the Bible. The heavy purse. 

his sermon on the Mount — the meek, the merci- 
ful, &c. Each of these qualities was ingenious- 
ly ascribed to Elizabeth. This could be done 
with much more propriety then than in subse- 
quent years. In another place, an ancient fig- 
ure, representing Time, came out of a cave which 
had been artificially constructed with great in- 
genuity, leading his daughter, whose name was 
Truth. Truth had an English Bible in her 
hands, which she presented to Elizabeth as she 
passed. This had a great deal of meaning ; for 
the Catholic government of Mary had discour- 
aged the circulation of the Scriptures in the ver- 
nacular tongue. When the procession arrived 
in the middle of the city, some officers of the 
city government approached the queen's char- 
iot, and delivered to her a present of a very large 
and heavy purse filled with gold. The queen 
had to employ both hands in lifting it in. It 
contained an amount equal in value to two or 
three thousand dollars. 

The queen was very affable and gracious to 
all the people on the way. Poor women would 
come up to her carriage and offer her flowers, 
which she would very condescendingly accept. 
Several times she stopped her carriage when 
she saw that any one wished to speak with her, 

140 Q,ueen Elizabeth. [1558. 

The sprig of rosemary. The wedding ring. 

or had something to offer ; and so great was the 
exaltation of a queen in those days, in the esti- 
mation of mankind, that these acts were con- 
sidered by all the humble citizens of London as 
acts of very extraordinary affability, and they 
awakened universal enthusiasm. There was 
one branch of rosemary given to the queen by 
a poor woman in Fleet Street ; the queen put 
it up conspicuously in the carriage, where it re- 
mained all the way, watched by ten thousand 
eyes, till it got to Westminster. 

The coronation took place at Westminster on 
the following day. The crown was placed upon 
the young maiden's head in the midst of a great 
throng of ladies and gentlemen, who were all 
superbly dressed, and who made the vast edifice 
in which the service was performed ring with 
their acclamations and their shouts of "Long 
live the Queen !" During the ceremonies, Eliz- 
abeth placed a wedding ring upon her finger 
with great formality, to denote that she consid- 
ered the occasion as the celebration of her es- 
pousal to the realm of England ; she was that 
day a bride, and should never have, she said, any 
other husband. She kept this, the only wed- 
ding ring she ever wore, upon her finger, with- 
out once removing it, for more than forty years. 

1559.] The War in Scotland. 141 

Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots. Their rivalry. 

Chapter VII. 
The War in Scotland. 

QUEEN Elizabeth and Mary Queen of 
Scots are strongly associated together in 
the minds of all readers of English history. 
They were cotemporary sovereigns, reigning at 
the same time over sister kingdoms. They 
were cousins, and yet, precisely on account of 
the family relationship which existed between 
them, they became implacable foes. The rival- 
ry and hostility, sometimes open and sometimes 
concealed, was always in action, and, after a 
contest of more than twenty years, Elizabeth 
triumphed. She made Mary her prisoner, kept 
her many years a captive, and at last closed the 
contest by commanding, or at least allowing, 
her fallen rival to be beheaded. 

Thus Elizabeth had it all her own way while 
the scenes of her life and of Mary's were trans- 
piring, but since that time mankind have gen- 
erally sympathized most strongly with the con- 
quered one, and condemned the conqueror. 
There are several reasons for this, and among 

142 Queen Elizabeth. [1559. 

Character of Mary. Character of Elizabeth. 

them is the vast influence exerted by the dif- 
ference in the personal character of the parties. 
Mary was beautiful, feminine in spirit, and love- 
ly. Elizabeth was talented, masculine, and 
plain. Mary was artless, unaffected, and gen- 
tle. Elizabeth was heartless, intriguing, and 
insincere. With Mary, though her ruling prin- 
ciple was ambition, her ruling passion was love. 
Her love led her to great transgressions and into 
many sorrows, but mankind pardon the sins 
and pity the sufferings which are caused by love 
more readily than those of any other origin. 
With Elizabeth, ambition was the ruling prin- 
ciple, and the ruling passion too. Love, with 
her, was only a pastime. Her transgressions 
were the cool, deliberate, well-considered acts 
of selfishness and desire of power. During her 
lifetime her success secured her the applauses 
of the world. The world is always ready to 
glorify the greatness which rises visibly before 
it, and to forget sufferings which are meekly 
and patiently borne in seclusion and solitude. 
Men praised and honored Elizabeth, therefore, 
while she lived, and neglected Mary. But since 
the halo and the fascination of the visible great- 
ness and glory have passed away, they have 
found a far greater charm in Mary's beauty and 

1559.] The War in Scotland. 143 

Elizabeth's celebrity while living. Interest in Mary when dead. 

misfortune than in her great rival's pride and 

There is often thus a great difference in the 
comparative interest we take in persons or 
scenes, when, on the one hand, they are reali- 
ties before our eyes, and when, on the other, 
they are only imaginings which are brought to 
our minds by pictures or descriptions. The 
hardships which it was very disagreeable or 
painful to bear, afford often great amusement 
or pleasure in the recollection. The old broken 
gate which a gentleman would not tolerate an 
hour upon his grounds, is a great beauty in the 
picture which hangs in his parlor. We shun 
poverty and distress while they are actually ex- 
isting ; nothing is more disagreeable to us ; and 
we gaze upon prosperity and wealth with never- 
ceasing pleasure. But when they are gone, 
and we have only the tale to hear, it is the story 
of sorrow and suffering which possesses the 
charm. Thus it happened that when the two 
queens were living realities, Elizabeth was the 
center of attraction and the object of universal 
homage ; but when they came to be themes of 
history, all eyes and hearts began soon to turn 
instinctively to Mary. It was London, and 
Westminster, and Kenil worth that possessed 

144 Queen Elizabeth. [1559 

Real nature of the question at issue between Mary and Elizabeth. 

the interest while Elizabeth lived, but it is Holy- 
rood and Loch Leven now. 

It results from these causes that Mary's story 
is read iar more frequently than Elizabeth's, 
and this operates still further to the advantage 
of the former, for we are always prone to take 
sides with the heroine of the tale we are reading. 
All these considerations, which have had so 
much influence on the judgment men form, or, 
rather, on the feeling to which they incline in 
this famous contest, have, it must be confessed, 
very little to do with the true merits of the case. 
And if we make a serious attempt to lay all such 
considerations aside, and to look into the con- 
troversy with cool and rigid impartiality, we 
shall find it very difficult to arrive at any satis- 
factory conclusion. There are two questions to 
be decided. In advancing their conflicting 
claims to the English crown, was it Elizabeth 
or Mary that was in the right? If Elizabeth 
was right, were the measures which she resort- 
ed to to secure her own rights, and to counteract 
Mary's pretensions, politically justifiable ? We 
do not propose to add our own to the hundred de- 
cisions which various writers have given to this 
question, but only to narrate the facts, and leave 
each reader to come to his own conclusions. 

1559.] The War in Scotland. 145 

The two marriages. One or the other necessarily null. 

The foundation of the long and dreadful quar- 
rel between these royal cousins was, as has been 
already remarked, their consanguinity, which 
made them both competitors for the same throne ; 
and as that throne was, in some respects, the 
highest and most powerful in the world, it is 
not surprising that two such ambitious women 
should be eager and persevering in their contest 
for it. By turning to the genealogical table on 
page 68, where a view is presented of the royal 
family of England in the time of Elizabeth, the 
reader will see once more what was the precise 
relationship which the two queens bore to each 
other and to the succession. By this table it is 
very evident that Elizabeth was the true in- 
heritor of the crown, provided it were admit- 
ted that she was the -lawful daughter and heir 
of King Henry the Eighth, and this depended 
on the question of the validity of her father's 
marriage with his first wife, Catharine of Ara- 
gon ; for, as has been before said, he was mar- 
ried to Anne Boleyn before obtaining any thing 
like a divorce from Catharine ; consequently, 
the marriage with Elizabeth's mother could not 
be legally valid, unless that with Catharine had 
been void from the beginning. The friends of 
Mary Queen of Scots maintained that it was 

146 Queen Elizabeth. [1559. 

Views of Mary's friends. Views of Elizabeth's friends. 

not thus void, and that, consequently, the mar- 
riage with Anne Boleyn was null ; that Eliza- 
beth, therefore, the descendant of the marriage, 
was not, legally and technically, a daughter of 
Henry the Eighth, and, consequently, not enti- 
tled to inherit his crown ; and that the crown, 
of right, ought to descend to the next heir, that 
is, to Mary Queen of Scots herself. 

Queen Elizabeth's friends and partisans main- 
tained, on the other hand, that the marriage of 
King Henry with Catharine was null and void 
from the beginning, because Catharine had been 
before the wife of his brother. The circumstan- 
ces of this marriage were very curious and pe- 
culiar. It was his father's work, and not his 
own. His father was King Henry the Seventh. 
Henry the Seventh had several children, and 
among them were his two oldest sons, Arthur 
and Henry. When Arthur was about sixteen 
years old, his father, being very much in want 
of money, conceived the plan of replenishing his 
coffers by marrying his son to a rich wife. He 
accordingly contracted a marriage between him 
and Catharine of Aragon, Catharine's father 
agreeing to pay him two hundred thousand 
crowns as her dowry. The juvenile bridegroom 
enjoyed the honors and pleasures of married 
life for a few months, and then died. 

1559.] The War in Scotland. 147 

Circumstances of Henry the Eighth's first marriage. 

This event was a great domestic calamity to 
the king, not because he mourned the loss of 
his son, but that he could not bear the idea of 
the loss of the dowry. By the law and usage 
in such cases, he was bound not only to forego 
the payment of the other half of the dowry, but 
he had himself no right to retain the half that 
he had already received. While his son lived, 
being a minor, the father might, not improper- 
ly, hold the money in his son's name ; but when 
he died this right ceased, and as Arthur left no 
child, Henry perceived that he should be obliged 
to pay back the money. To avoid this un- 
pleasant necessity, the king conceived the plan 
of marrying the youthful widow again to his 
second boy, Henry, who was about a year 
younger than Arthur^and he made proposals 
to this effect to the King of Aragon. 

The King of Aragon made no objection to 
this proposal, except that it was a thing un- 
heard of among Christian nations, or heard of 
only to be condemned, for a man or even a boy 
to marry his brother's widow. All laws, human 
and divine, were clear and absolute against this. 
Still, if the dispensation of the pope could be 
obtained, he would make no objection. Catha- 
rine might espouse the second boy, and he would 

148 Queen Elizabeth. [1559. 

The papal dispensation. Doubts about it. 

allow the one hundred thousand crowns already- 
paid to stand, and would also pay the other 
hundred thousand. The dispensation was ac- 
cordingly obtained, and every thing made ready 
for the marriage. 

Very soon after this, however, and before the 
new marriage was carried into effect, King 
Henry the Seventh died, and this second boy, 
now the oldest son, though only about seven- 
teen years of age, ascended the throne as King 
Henry the Eighth. There was great discussion 
and debate, soon after his accession, whether 
the marriage which his father had arranged 
should proceed. Some argued that no papal 
dispensation could authorize or justify such a 
marriage. Others maintained that a papal dis- 
pensation could legalize any thing ; for it is a 
doctrine of the Catholic Church that the pope 
has a certain discretionary power over all laws, 
human and divine, under the authority given 
to his great predecessor, the Apostle Peter, by 
the words of Christ : " Whatsoever thou shalt 
bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and 
whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be 
loosed in heaven."* Henry seems not to have 
puzzled his head at all with the legal question ; 

* Matthew, xvi., 19. 

1559.] The War in Scotland. 149 

England turns Protestant. The marriage annulled. 

he wanted to have the young widow for his 
wife, and he settled the affair on that ground 
alone. They were married. 

Catharine was a faithful and dutiful spouse ; 
but when, at last, Henry fell in love with Anne 
Boleyn, he made these old difficulties a pretext 
for discarding her. He endeavored, as has been 
already related, to induce the papal authorities 
to annul their dispensation ; because they would 
not do it, he espoused the Protestant cause, and 
England, as a nation, seceded from the Catho- 
lic communion. The ecclesiastical and parlia- 
mentary authorities of his own realm then, be- 
ing made Protestant, annulled the marriage, 
and thus Anne Boleyn, to whom he had pre- 
viously been married by a private ceremony, 
became legally and" technically his wife. If 
this annulling of his first marriage were valid, 
then Elizabeth was his heir — otherwise not ; 
for if the pope's dispensation was to stand, then 
Catharine was a wife. Anne Boleyn would in 
that case, of course, have been only a compan- 
ion, and Elizabeth, claiming through her, a 

The question, thus, was very complicated. It 
branched into extensive ramifications, which 
opened a wide field of debate, and led to end- 






Mary in 


She becomes 


of France. 

less controversies. It is not probable, however, 
that Mary Queen of Scots, or her friends, gave 
themselves much trouble about the legal points 
at issue. She and they were all Catholics, and 
it was sufficient for them to know that the 
Holy Father at Rome had sanctioned the mar- 
riage of Catharine, and that that marriage, if 
allowed to stand, made her the Queen of En- 
gland. She was at this time in France. She 
had been sent there at a very early period of 
her life, to escape the troubles of her native land, 
and also to be educated. She was a gentle and 
beautiful child, and as she grew up amid the 
gay scenes and festivities of Paris, she became 
a very great favorite, being universally beloved. 
She married at length, though while she was 
still quite young, the son of the French king. 
Her young husband became king himself soon 
afterward, on account of his father's being kill- 
ed, in a very remarkable manner, at a tourna- 
ment ; and thus Mary, Queen of Scots before, 
became also Queen of France now. All these 
events, passed over thus very summarily here, 
are narrated in full detail in the History of 
Mary Queen of Scots pertaining to this series. 
While Mary was thus residing in France as 
the wife of the king, she was surrounded by a 

1559.] The War in Scotland. 151 

Mary's pretensions to the English crown. Elizabeth's fears. 

very large and influential circle, who were Cath- 
olics like herself, and who were also enemies of 
Elizabeth and of England, and glad to find any 
pretext for disturbing her reign. These per- 
sons brought forward Mary's claim. They per- 
suaded Mary that she was fairly entitled to the 
English crown. They awakened her youthful 
ambition, and excited strong desires in her 
heart to attain to the high elevation of Queen 
of England. Mary at length assumed the title 
in some of her official acts, and combined the 
arms of England with those of Scotland in the 
escutcheons with which her furniture and her 
plate were emblazoned. 

When Queen Elizabeth learned that Mary 
was advancing such pretensions to her crown, 
she was made very -uneasy by it. There was, 
perhaps, no immediate danger, but then there 
was a very large Catholic party in England, 
and they would naturally espouse Mary's cause, 
and they might, at some future time, gather 
strength so as to make Elizabeth a great deal 
of trouble. She accordingly sent an embassa- 
dor over to France to remonstrate against Ma- 
ry's advancing these pretensions. But she could 
get no satisfactory reply. Mary would not dis- 
avow her claim to Elizabeth's crown, nor would 

152 Queen Elizabeth. [1559. 

Measures of Elizabeth. Progress of Protestantism in Scotland. 

she directly assert it. Elizabeth, then, know- 
ing that all her danger lay in the power and in- 
fluence of her own Catholic subjects, went to 
work, very cautiously and warily, but in a very 
extended and efficient way, to establish the Ref- 
ormation, and to undermine and destroy all tra- 
ces of Catholic power. She proceeded in this 
work with great circumspection, so as not to 
excite opposition or alarm. 

In the mean time, the Protestant cause was 
making progress in Scotland too, by its own in- 
herent energies, and against the influence of the 
government. Finally, the Scotch Protestants 
organized themselves, and commenced an open 
rebellion against the regent whom Mary had 
left in power while she was away. They sent 
to Elizabeth to come and aid them. Mary and 
her friends in France sent French troops to as- 
sist the government. Elizabeth hesitated very 
much whether to comply with the request of 
the rebels. It is very dangerous for a sovereign 
to countenance rebellion in any way. Then 
she shrunk, too, from the exposure which she 
foresaw that such an attempt would involve. 
To fit out a fleet, and to levy and equip an army, 
and to continue the forces thus raised in action 
during a long and uncertain campaign, would 

1560.] The War in Scotland. 153 

Difficulties in Scotland. Elizabeth's interference. 

cost a large sum of money, and Elizabeth was 
constitutionally economical and frugal. But 
then, on the other hand, as she deliberated 
upon the affair long and anxiously, both alone 
and with her council, she thought that, if she 
should so far succeed as to get the government 
of Scotland into her power, she could compel 
Mary to renounce forever all claims to the En- 
glish crown, by threatening her, if she would 
not do it, with the loss of her own. • 

Finally, she decided on making the attempt. 
Cecil, her wise and prudent counselor, strongly 
advised it. He said it was far better to carry 
on the contest with Mary and the French in 
one of their countries than in her own. She be- 
gan to make preparations. Mary and the French 
government, on learning this, were alarmed in 
their turn. They sent word to Elizabeth that 
for her to render countenance and aid to rebels 
in arms against their sovereign, in a sister king- 
dom, was wholly unjustifiable, and they remon- 
strated most earnestly against it. Besides mak- 
ing this remonstrance, they offered, as an induce- 
ment of another kind, that if she would refrain 
from taking any part in the contest in Scotland, 
they would restore to her the great town and 
citadel of Calais, which her sister had been so 

154 Queen Elizabeth. [1560. 

Fruitless negotiations. The war goes on. 

much grieved to lose. To this Elizabeth re- 
plied that, so long as Mary adhered to her pre- 
tensions to the English crown, she should be 
compelled to take energetic measures to protect 
herself from them ; and as to Calais, the pos- 
session of a fishing town on a foreign coast was 
of no moment to her in comparison with the 
peace and security of her own realm. This 
answer did not tend to close the breach. Be- 
sides the bluntness of the refusal of their offer, 
the French were irritated and vexed to hear their 
famous sea-port spoken of so contemptuously. 

Elizabeth accordingly fitted out a fleet and 
an army, and sent them northward. A French 
fleet, with re-enforcements for Mary's adherents 
in this contest, set sail from France at about the 
same time. It was a very important question 
to be determined which of these two fleets should 
get first upon the stage of action. 

In the mean time, the Protestant party in 
Scotland, or the rebels, as Queen Mary and 
her government called them, had had very hard 
work to maintain their ground. There was a 
large French force already there, and their co- 
operation and aid made the government too 
strong for the insurgents to resist. But, when 
Elizabeth's English army crossed the frontier, 

1560.] The War in Scotland. 157 

The French shut up in Leith. Situation of the town. 

the face of affairs was changed. The French 
forces retreated in their turn. The English 
army advanced. The Scotch Protestants came 
forth from the recesses of the Highlands to 
which they had retreated, and, drawing closer 
and closer around the French and the govern- 
ment forces, they hemmed them in more and 
more narrowly, and at last shut them up in the 
ancient town of Leith, to which they retreated 
in search of a temporary shelter, until the French 
fleet, with re-enforcements, should arrive. 

The town of Leith is on the shore of the 
Firth of Forth, not far from Edinburgh. It is 
the port or landing-place of Edinburgh, in ap- 
proaching it from the sea. It is on the south- 
ern shore of the firth, and Edinburgh stands on 
higher land, about two miles south of it. Leith 
was strongly fortified in those days, and the 
French army felt very secure there, though yet 
anxiously awaiting the arrival of the fleet which 
was to release them. The English army ad- 
vanced in the mean time, eager to get posses- 
sion of the city before the expected succors 
should arrive. The English made an assault 
upon the walls. The French, with desperate 
bravery, repelled it. The French made a sor- 
tie ; that is, they rushed out of a sudden and 

158 Queen Elizabeth. [1560. 

The English victorious. The Treaty of Edinburgh. 

attacked the English lines. The English con- 
centrated their forces at the point attacked, and 
drove them back again. These struggles con- 
tinued, both sides very eager for victory, and 
both watching all the time for the appearance 
of a fleet in the offing. 

At length, one day, a cloud of white sails ap- 
peared rounding the point of land which forms 
the southern boundary of the firth, and the 
French were thrown at once into the highest 
state of exultation and excitement. But this 
pleasure was soon turned into disappointment 
and chagrin by finding that it was Elizabeth's 
fleet, and not theirs, which was coming into 
view. This ended the contest. The French 
fleet never arrived. It was dispersed and de- 
stroyed by a storm. The besieged army sent 
out a flag of truce, proposing to suspend hostil- 
ities until the terms of a treaty could be agreed 
upon. The truce was granted. Commission- 
ers were appointed on each side. These com- 
missioners met at Edinburgh, and agreed upon 
the terms of a permanent peace. The treaty, 
which is called in history the Treaty of Edin- 
burgh, was solemnly signed by the commission- 
ers appointed to make it, and then transmitted 
to England and to France to be ratified by the 

1560.] The War in Scotland. 159 

Stipulations of the treaty. Mary refuses to ratify it. 

respective queens. Queen Elizabeth's forces 
and the French forces were then both, as the 
treaty provided, immediately withdrawn. The 
dispute, too, between the Protestants and the 
Catholics in Scotland was also settled, though 
it is not necessary for our purpose in this nar- 
rative to explain particularly in what way. 

There was one point, however, in the stipula- 
tions of this treaty which is of essential import- 
ance in this narrative, and that is, that it was 
agreed that Mary should relinquish all claims 
whatever to the English crown so long as Eliz- 
abeth lived. This, in fact, was the essential 
point in the whole transaction. Mary, it is 
true, was not present to agree to it ; but the 
commissioners agreed to it in her name, and it 
was stipulated that Mary should solemnly ratify 
the treaty as soon as it could be sent to her. 

But Mary would not ratify it — at least so far 
as this last article was concerned. She said 
that she had no intention of doing any thing to 
molest Elizabeth in her possession of the throne, 
but that as to herself, whatever rights might 
legally and justly belong to her, she could not 
consent to sign them away. The other articles 
of the treaty had, however, in the mean time, 
brought the war to a close, and both the French 

160 Queen Elizabeth. [1560. 

Death of Mary's husband. She returns to Scotland. 

and English armies were withdrawn. Neither 
party had any inclination to renew the conflict ; 
but yet, so far as the great question between 
Mary and Elizabeth was concerned, the diffi- 
culty was as far from being settled as ever. In 
fact, it was in a worse position than before ; for, 
in addition to her other grounds of complaint 
against Mary, Elizabeth now charged her with 
dishonorably refusing to be bound by a compact 
which had been solemnly made in her name, by 
agents whom she had fully authorized to make it. 
It was about this time that Mary's husband, 
the King of France, died, and, after enduring 
various trials and troubles in France, Mary con- 
cluded to return to her own realm. She sent 
to Elizabeth to get a safe-conduct — a sort of 
permission allowing her to pass unmolested 
through the English seas. Elizabeth refused 
to grant it unless Mary would first ratify the 
treaty of Edinburgh. This Mary would not do, 
but undertook, rather, to get home without the 
permission. Elizabeth sent ships to intercept 
her ; but Mary's little squadron, when they ap- 
proached the shore, were hidden by a fog, and 
so she got safe to land. After this there was 
quiet between Mary and Elizabeth for many 
years, but no peace. 

1560.] Elizabeth's Lovers. 161 

Claimants to the throne. General character of Elizabeth's reign. 

Chapter VIII. 

Elizabeth's Lovers. 

■j^LIZABETH was now securely established 
-■— * upon her throne. It is true that Mary 
Queen of Scots had not renounced her preten- 
sions, but there was no immediate prospect of 
her making any attempt to realize them, and 
very little hope for her that she would be suc- 
cessful, if she were to undertake it. There were 
other claimants, it is true, but their claims were 
more remote and doubtful than Mary's. These 
conflicting pretensions were likely to make the 
country some trouble after Elizabeth's death, 
but there was very slight probability that they 
would sensibly molest Elizabeth's possession of 
the throne during her lifetime, though they 
caused her no little anxiety. 

The reign which Elizabeth thus commenced 
was one of the longest, most brilliant, and, in 
many respects, the most prosperous in the whole 
series presented to our view in the long succes- 
sion of English sovereigns. Elizabeth contin- 
ued a queen for forty-five years, during all which 

162 Queen Elizabeth. [1560 

Elizabeth's suitors. Their motives 

time she remained a single lady ; and she died, 
at last, a venerable maiden, seventy years of age. 
It was not for want of lovers, or, rather, of 
admirers and suitors, that Elizabeth lived single 
all her days. During the first twenty years of 
her reign, one half of her history is a history of 
matrimonial schemes and negotiations. It seem- 
ed as if all the marriageable princes and poten- 
tates of Europe were seized, one after another, 
with a desire to share her seat upon the English 
throne. They tried every possible means to 
win her consent. They dispatched embassa- 
dors ; they opened long negotiations ; they sent 
her ship-loads of the most expensive presents : 
some of the nobles of high rank in her own realm 
expended their vast estates, and reduced them- 
selves to poverty, in vain attempts to please her. 
Elizabeth, like any other woman, loved these 
attentions. They pleased her vanity, and grat- 
ified those instinctive impulses of the female 
heart by which woman is fitted for happiness 
and love. Elizabeth encouraged the hopes of 
those who addressed her sufficiently to keep 
them from giving up in despair and abandoning 
her. And in one or two cases she seemed to 
come very near yielding. But it always hap- 
pened that, when the time arrived in which a 

1560.] Elizabeth's Lovers. 163 

Philip of Spain proposes. His strange conduct. 

final decision must be made, ambition and de- 
sire of power proved stronger than love, and she 
preferred continuing to occupy her lofty position 
by herself, alone. 

Philip of Spain, the husband of her sister 
Mary, was the first of these suitors. He had 
seen Elizabeth a good deal in England during 
his residence there, and had even taken her 
part in her difficulties with Mary, and had ex- 
erted his influence to have her released from 
her confinement. As soon as Mary died and 
Elizabeth was proclaimed, one of her first acts 
was, as was very proper, to send an embassa- 
dor to Flanders to inform the bereaved husband 
of his loss. It is a curious illustration of the 
degree and kind of affection that Philip had 
borne to his departed wife, that immediately on 
receiving intelligence of her death by Elizabeth's 
embassador, he sent a special dispatch to his 
own embassador in London to make a proposal 
to Elizabeth to take him for her husband ! 

Elizabeth decided very soon to decline this 
proposal. She had ostensible reasons, and real 
reasons for this. The chief ostensible reason 
was, that Philip was so inveterately hated by 
all the English people, and Elizabeth was ex- 
tremely desirous of being popular. She relied 

164 Queen Elizabeth. [1560. 

Elizabeth declines Philip's proposal. Her reasons for so doing. 

solely on the loyalty and faithfulness of her Prot- 
estant subjects to maintain her rights to the suc- 
cession, and she knew that if she displeased 
them by such an unpopular Catholic marriage, 
her reliance upon them must be very much 
weakened. They might even abandon her en- 
tirely. The reason, therefore, that she assigned 
publicly was, that Philip was a Catholic, and 
that the connection could not, on that account, 
be agreeable to the English people. 

Among the real reasons was one of a very 
peculiar nature. It happened that there was 
an objection to her marriage with Philip very 
similar to that of King Henry, her father, with 
Catharine of Aragon. Catharine had been the 
wife of Henry's brother. Philip had been the 
husband of Elizabeth's sister. Now Philip had 
offered to procure the pope's dispensation, by 
which means this difficulty would be surmount- 
ed. But then all the world would say, that if 
this dispensation could legalize the latter mar- 
riage, the former must have been legalized by 
it, and this would destroy the marriage of Anne 
Boleyn, and with it all Elizabeth's claims to the 
succession. She could not, then, marry Philip, 
without, by the very act, effectually undermin- 
ing all her own rights to the throne. She was 

1560.] Elizabeth's Lovers. 165 

The English people wish Elizabeth to be married. 

far too subtle and wary to stumble into such a 
pitfall as that. 

Elizabeth rejected this and some other offers, 
and one or two years passed away. In the 
mean time, the people of the country, though 
they had no wish to have her marry such a 
stern and heartless tyrant as Philip of Spain, 
were very uneasy at the idea of her not being 
married at all. Her life would, of course, in 
due time, come to an end, and it was of im- 
mense importance to the peace and happiness 
of the realm that, after her death, there should 
be no doubt about the succession. If she were 
to be married and leave children, they would 
succeed to the throne without question ; but if 
she were to die single and childless, the result 
would be, they feared, that the Catholics would 
espouse the cause of Mary Queen of Scots, and 
the Protestants that of some Protestant descend- 
ant of Henry VII., and thus the country be in- 
volved in all the horrors of a protracted civil war. 

The House of Commons in those days was a 
very humble council, convened to discuss and 
settle mere internal and domestic affairs, and 
standing at a vast distance from the splendor 
and power of royalty, to which it looked up with 
the profoundest reverence and awe. The Com- 

166 Queen Elizabeth. [1560. 

Petition of the Parliament. Elizabeth's " gracious" reply. 

mons, at the close of one of their sessions, ven- 
tured, in a very timid and cautious manner, to 
send a petition to the queen, urging her to con- 
sent, for the sake of the future peace of the 
realm, and the welfare of her subjects, to accept 
of a husband. Few single persons are offended 
at a recommendation of marriage, if properly 
offered, from whatever quarter it may come. 
The queen, in this instance, returned what was 
called a very gracious reply. She, however, 
very decidedly refused the request. She said 
that, as they had been very respectful in the 
form of their petition, and as they had confined 
it to general terms, without presuming to sug- 
gest either a person or a time, she would not 
take offense at their well-intended suggestion, 
but that she had no design of ever being mar- 
ried. At her coronation, she was married, she 
said, to her people, and the wedding ring was 
upon her finger still. Her people were the ob- 
jects of all her affection and regard. She should 
never have any other spouse. She said she 
should be well contented to have it engraved 
upon her tomb-stone, " Here lies a queen who 
lived and died a virgin." 

This answer silenced the Commons, but it 
did not settle the question in the public mind. 

1560. J Elizabeth's Lovers. 167 

Elizabeth attacked with the small-pox. Alarm of the country. 

Cases often occur of ladies saying very positive- 
ly that they shall never consent to be married, 
and yet afterward altering their minds ; and 
many ladies, knowing how frequently this takes 
place, sagaciously conclude that, whatever se- 
cret resolutions they may form, they will be si- 
lent about them, lest they get into a position 
from which it will be afterward awkward to re- 
treat. The princes of the Continent and the 
nobles of England paid no regard to Elizabeth's 
declaration, but continued to do all in their pow- 
er to obtain her hand. 

One or two years afterward Elizabeth was 
attacked with the small-pox, and for a time was 
dangerously sick. In fact, for some days her 
life was despaired of, and the country was thrown 
into a great state of confusion and dismay. Par- 
ties began to form — the Catholics for Mary 
Queen of Scots, and the Protestants for the fam- 
ily of Jane Grey. Every thing portended a 
dreadful contest. Elizabeth, however, recov- 
ered ; but the country had been so much alarm- 
ed at their narrow escape, that Parliament ven- 
tured once more to address the queen on the 
subject of her marriage. They begged that she 
would either consent to that measure, or, if she 
was finally determined not to do that, that she 

168 Queen Elizabeth. [1560. 

The Earl of Leicester. His character. 

would cause a law to be passed, or an edict to 
be promulgated, deciding beforehand who was 
really to succeed to the throne in the event of 
her decease. 

Elizabeth would not do either. Historians 
have speculated a great deal upon her motives ; 
all that is certain is the fact, she would not do 

But, though Elizabeth thus resisted all the 
plans formed for giving her a husband, she had, 
in her own court, a famous personal favorite, 
who has always been considered as in some 
sense her lover. His name was originally Rob- 
ert Dudley, though she made him Earl of Lei- 
cester, and he is commonly designated in histo- 
ry by this latter name. He was a son of the 
Duke of Northumberland, who was the leader 
of the plot for placing Lady Jane Grey upon 
the throne in the time of Mary. He was a 
very elegant and accomplished man, and young, 
though already married. Elizabeth advanced 
him to high offices and honors very early in her 
reign, and kept him much at court. She made 
him her Master of Horse, but she did not be- 
stow upon him much real power. Cecil was 
her great counselor and minister of state. He 
was a cool, sagacious, wary man, entirely de- 

Portrait of the Earl of Leicest 

1560.] Elizabeth's Lovers. 171 

Services of Cecil. Elizabeth's attachment to Leicester. 

voted to Elizabeth's interests, and to the glory 
and prosperity of the realm. He was at this 
time, as has already been stated, forty years of 
age, thirteen or fourteen years older than Eliz- 
abeth. Elizabeth showed great sagacity in se- 
lecting such a minister, and great wisdom in 
keeping him in power so long. He remained 
in her service all his life, and died at last, only 
a few years before Elizabeth, when he was near- 
ly eighty years of age. 

Dudley, on the other hand, was just about 
Elizabeth's own age. In fact, it is said by some 
of the chronicles of the times that he was born 
on the same day and hour with her. However 
this may be, he became a great personal favor- 
ite, and Elizabeth evinced a degree and kind 
of attachment to him which subjected her to a 
great deal of censure and reproach. 

She could not be thinking of him for her hus- 
band, it would seem, for he was already mar- 
ried. Just about this time, however, a myste- 
rious circumstance occurred, which produced a 
great deal of excitement, and has ever since 
marked a very important era in the history of 
Leicester and Elizabeth's attachment. It was 
the sudden and very singular death of Leices- 
ter's wife. 

172 Queen Elizabeth. [1560. 

Leicester's wife. Her mysterious death. 

Leicester had, among his other estates, a 
lonely mansion in Berkshire, about fifty miles 
west of London. It was called Cumnor House. 
Leicester's wife was sent there, no one knew 
' why ; she went under the charge of a gentle- 
man who was one of Leicester's dependents, and 
entirely devoted to his will. The house, too, 
was occupied by a man who had the character 
of being ready for any deed which might be re- 
quired of him by his master. The name of 
Leicester's wife was Amy Robesart. 

In a short time news came to London that 
the unhappy woman was killed by a fall down 
stairs ! The instantaneous suspicion darted at 
once into every one's mind that she had been 
murdered. Rumors circulated all around the 
place where the death had occurred that she 
had been murdered. A conscientious clergy- 
man of the neighborhood sent an account of the 
case to London, to the queen's ministers, stat- 
ing the facts, and urging the queen to order an 
investigation of the affair, but nothing was ever 
done. It has accordingly been the general be- 
lief of mankind since that time, that the un- 
principled courtier destroyed his wife in the vain 
hope of becoming afterward the husband of the 

1560.] Elizabeth's Lovers. 173 

Leicester hated by the people. Various rumors. 

The people of England were greatly incensed 
at this transaction. They had hated Leicester 
before, and they hated him now more inveterate- 
ly still. Favorites are very generally hated ; 
royal favorites always. He, however, grew more 
and more intimate with the queen, and every 
body feared that he was going to be her hus- 
band. Their conduct was watched very close- 
ly by all the great world, and, as is usual in 
such cases, a thousand circumstances and oc- 
currences were reported busily from tongue to 
tongue, which the actors in them doubtless sup- 
posed passed unobserved or were forgotten. 

One night, for instance, Queen Elizabeth, 
having supped with Dudley, was going home in 
her chair, lighted by torch - bearers. At the 
present day, all London is lighted brilliantly at 
midnight with gas, and ladies go home from 
their convivial and pleasure assemblies in lux- 
urious carriages, in which they are rocked gen- 
tly along through broad and magnificent ave- 
nues, as bright, almost, as day. Then, how- 
ever, it was very different. The lady was 
borne slowly along through narrow, and dingy, 
and dangerous streets, with a train of torches 
before and behind her, dispelling the darkness 
a moment with their glare, and then leaving it 

174 Queen Elizabeth. [1560. 

The torch-light conversation. The servants quarrel. 

more deep and somber than ever. On the night 
of which we are speaking, Elizabeth, feeling in 
good humor, began to talk with some of the 
torch-bearers on the way. They were Dudley's 
men, and Elizabeth began to praise their mas- 
ter. She said to one of them, among other 
things, that she was going to raise him to a 
higher position than any of his name had ever 
borne before. Now, as Dudley's father was a 
duke, which title denotes the highest rank of 
the English nobility, the man inferred that the 
queen's meaning was that she intended to mar- 
ry him, and thus make him a sort of king. The 
man told the story boastingly to one of the 
servants of Lord Arundel, who was also a suit- 
or of the queen's. The servants, each taking 
the part of his master in the rivalry, quarreled. 
Lord Arundel's man said that he wished that 
Dudley had been hung with his father, or else 
that somebody would shoot him in the street 
with a dag: A dag was, in the language of 
those days, the name for a pistol. 

Time moved on, and though Leicester seem- 
ed to become more and more a favorite, the 
plan of his being married to Elizabeth, if any 
such were entertained by either party, appeared 
to come no nearer to an accomplishment. Eliz- 

1561.] Elizabeth's Lovers. 17-5 

Splendid style of living. Public ceremonies. 

abeth lived in great state and splendor, some- 
times residing in her palaces in or near London, 
and sometimes making royal progresses about 
her dominions. Dudley, together with the other 
prominent members of her court, accompanied 
her on these excursions, and obviously enjoyed 
a very high degree of personal favor. She en- 
couraged, at the same time, her other suitors, 
so that on all the great public occasions of state, 
at the tilts and tournaments, at the plays — 
which, by-the-way, in those days were perform- 
ed in the churches — on all the royal progresses 
and grand receptions at cities, castles, and uni- 
versities, the lady queen was surrounded al- 
ways by royal or noble beaux, who made her 
presents, and paid her a thousand compliments, 
and offered her gallant attentions without num- 
ber — all prompted by ambition in the guise of 
love. They smiled upon the queen with a per- 
petual sycophancy, and gnashed their teeth se- 
cretly upon each other with a hatred which, 
unlike the pretended love, was at least honest 
and sincere. Leicester was the gayest, most 
accomplished, and most favored of them all, and 
the rest accordingly combined and agreed in 
hating him more than they did each other. 
Queen Elizabeth, however, never really ad- 

176 Que en Elizabeth. [1561. 

Elizabeth recommends Leicester to Mary Queen of Scots. 

mittcd that she had any design of making Lei- 
cester, or Dudley, as he is indiscriminately call- 
ed, her husband. In fact, at one time she rec- 
ommended him to Mary Queen of Scots for a 
husband. After Mary returned to Scotland, 
the two queens were, for a time, on good terms, 
as professed friends, though they were, in fact, 
all the time, most inveterate and implacable 
foes ; but each, knowing how much injury the 
other might do her, wished to avoid exciting 
any unnecessary hostility. Mary, particularly, 
as she found she could not get possession of the 
English throne during Elizabeth's life-time, 
concluded to try to conciliate her, in hopes to 
persuade her to acknowledge, by act of Parlia- 
ment, her right to the succession after her 
death. So she used to confer with Elizabeth 
on the subject of her own marriage, and to ask 
her advice about it. Elizabeth did not wish to 
have Mary married at all, and so she always 
proposed somebody who she knew would be out 
of the question. She at one time proposed Lei- 
cester, and for a time seemed quite in earnest 
about it, especially so long as Mary seemed 
averse to it. At length, however, when Mary, 
in order to test her sincerity, seemed inclined 
to yield, Elizabeth retreated in her turn, and 

1562.] Elizabeth's Lovers. 177 

Mary marries Darnley. Elizabeth's visit to Kenihvorth. 

withdrew her proposals. Mary then gave up 
the hope of satisfying Elizabeth in any way, 
and married Lord Darnley without her consent. 
Elizabeth's regard for Dudley, however, still 
continued. She made him Earl of Leicester, 
and granted him the magnificent castle of Ken- 
ilworth, with a large estate adjoining and sur- 
rounding it ; the rents of the lands giving him 
a princely income, and enabling him to live in 
almost royal state. Queen Elizabeth visited 
him frequently in this castle. One of these vis- 
its is very minutely described by the chroniclers 
of the times. The earl made the most expens- 
ive and extraordinary preparations for the re- 
ception and entertainment of the queen and her 
retinue on this occasion. The moat — which is 
a broad canal filled with water surrounding the 
castle — had a floating island upon it, with a 
fictitious personage whom they called the lady 
of the lake upon the island, who sung a song in 
praise of Elizabeth as she passed the bridge. 
There was also an artificial dolphin swimming 
upon the water, with a band of musicians with- 
in it. As the queen advanced across the park, 
men and women, in strange disguises, came out 
to meet her, and to offer her salutations and 
praises. One was dressed as a sibyl, another 

178 Queen Elizabeth. [1577. 

Leicester's marriage. Elizabeth sends him to prison. 

like an American savage, and a third, who was 
concealed, represented an echo. This visit was 
continued for nineteen days, and the stories of 
the splendid entertainments provided for the 
company — the plays, the bear-baitings, the fire- 
works, the huntings, the mock fights, the feast- 
ings and revelries — filled all Europe at the 
time, and have been celebrated by historians 
and story-tellers ever since. The Castle of 
Kenilworth is now a very magnificent heap of 
ruins, and is explored every year by thousands 
of visitors from every quarter of the globe. 

Leicester, if he ever really entertained any 
serious designs of being Elizabeth's husband, 
at last gave up his hopes, and married another 
woman. This lady had been the wife of the 
Earl of Essex. Her husband died very sud- 
denly and mysteriously just before Leicester 
married her. Leicester kept the marriage se- 
cret for some time, and when it came at last to 
the queen's knowledge she was exceedingly an- 
gry. She had him arrested and sent to prison. 
However, she gradually recovered from her fit 
of resentment, and by degrees restored him to 
her favor again. 

Twenty years of Elizabeth's reign thus pass- 
ed away, and no one nf all her suitors had sue- 

1577.] Elizabeth's Lovers. 179 

Prosperity of Elizabeth's reign. The Duke of Anjou. 

ceeded in obtaining her hand. All this time 
her government had been going on with great 
efficiency and power. All Europe had been in 
great commotion during almost the whole pe- 
riod, on account of the terrible conflicts which 
were raging between the Catholics and the 
Protestants, each party having been doing its 
utmost to exterminate and destroy the other. 
Elizabeth and her government took part, very 
frequently, in these contests ; sometimes by ne- 
gotiations, and sometimes by fleets and armies, 
but always sagaciously and cautiously, and gen- 
erally with great effect. In the mean time, 
however, the queen, being now forty-five years 
of age, was rapidly approaching the time when 
questions of marriage could no longer be enter- 
tained. Her lovers, or, rather, her suitors, had, 
one after another, given up the pursuit, and 
disappeared from the field. One only seemed 
at length to remain, on the decision of whose 
fate the final result of the great question of the 
queen's marriage seemed to be pending. 

It was the Duke of Anjou. He was a French 
prince. His brother, who had been the Duke 
of Anjou before him, was now King Henry III. 
of France. His own name was Francis. He 
was twenty-five years younger than Elizabeth, 

180 Queen Elizabeth. [1581. 

Catharine de Medici. She proposes her son to Elizabeth. 

and he was only seventeen years of age when 
it was first proposed that he should marry her. 
He was then Duke of Alencon. It was his 
mother's plan. She was the great Catharine 
de Medici, queen of France, and one of the most 
extraordinary women, for her talents, her man- 
agement, and her power, that ever lived. Hav- 
ing one son upon the throne of France, she want- 
ed the throne of England for the other. The 
negotiation had been pending fruitlessly for 
many years, and now, in 1581, it was vigorous- 
ly renewed. The duke himself, who was at 
this time a young man of twenty-four or five, 
began to be impatient and earnest in his suit. 
There was, in fact, one good reason why he 
should be so. Elizabeth was forty-eight, and, un- 
less the match were soon concluded, the time for 
effecting it would be obviously forever gone by. 
He had never had an interview with the 
queen. He had seen pictures of her, however, 
and he sent an embassador over to England to 
urge his suit, and to convince Elizabeth how 
much he was in love with her charms. The 
name of this agent was Simier. He was a 
very polite and accomplished man, and soon 
learned the art of winning his way to Eliza- 
beth's favor. Leicester was very jealous of his 

1581. J Elizabeth's Lovers. 183 

Quarrels of the favorites. The shot. 

success. The two favorites soon imbibed a ter- 
rible enmity for each other. They filled the 
court with their quarrels. The progress of the 
negotiation, however, went on, the people tak- 
ing sides very violently, some for and some 
against the projected marriage. The animosi- 
ties became exceedingly virulent, until at length 
Simier's life seemed to be in danger. He said 
that Leicester had hired one of the guards to 
assassinate him ; and it is a fact, that one day, 
as he and the queen, with other attendants, 
were making an excursion upon the river, a shot 
was fired from the shore into the barge. The 
shot did no injury except to wound one of the 
oarsmen, and frighten all the party pretty thor- 
oughly. Some thought the shot was aimed at 
Simier, and others at the queen herself. It was 
afterward proved, or supposed to be proved, that 
this shot was the accidental discharge of a gun, 
without any evil intention whatever. 

In the mean time, Elizabeth grew more and 
more interested in the idea of having the young 
duke for her husband ; and it seemed as if the 
maidenly resolutions, which had stood their 
ground so firmly for twenty years, were to be 
conquered at last. The more, however, she 
seemed to approach toward a consent to the 

184 Q,ueen Elizabeth. [1581 

The people oppose the match. The arrangements completed 

measure, the more did all the officers of her gov 
ernment, and the nation at large, oppose it 
There were, in their minds, two insuperable ob 
jections to the match. The candidate was a 
Frenchman, and he was a papist. The coun- 
cil interceded. Friends remonstrated. The na- 
tion murmured and threatened. A book was 
published entitled " The Discovery of a gaping 
Gulf wherein England is like to be swallowed 
up by another French marriage, unless the Lord 
forbid the Bans by letting her see the Sin and 
Punishment thereof." The author of it had 
his right hand cut off for his punishment. 

At length, after a series of most extraordi- 
nary discussions, negotiations, and occurrences, 
which kept the whole country in a state of great 
excitement for a long time, the affair was at 
last all settled. The marriage articles, both 
political and personal, were all arranged. The 
nuptials were to be celebrated in six weeks. 
The duke came over in great state, and was 
received with all possible pomp and parade. 
Festivals and banquets were arranged without 
number, and in the most magnificent style, to 
do him and his attendants honor. At one of 
them, the queen took off a ring from her finger, 
and put it upon his, in the presence of a great 

1581.] Elizabeth's Lovers. 185 

The match broken off. The duke's rage. 

assembly, which was the first announcement to 
the public that the affair was finally settled. 
The news spread every where with great rapid- 
ity. It produced in England great consterna- 
tion and distress, but on the Continent it was 
welcomed with joy, and the great English alli- 
ance, now so obviously approaching, was cele- 
brated with ringing of bells, bonfires, and grand 

And yet, notwithstanding all this, as soon as 
the obstacles were all removed, and there was 
no longer opposition to stimulate the determi- 
nation of the queen, her heart failed her at last, 
and she finally concluded that she would not be 
married, after all. She sent for the duke one 
morning to come and see her. What takes place 
precisely between ladies and gentlemen when 
they break off their engagements is not gener- 
ally very publicly known, but the duke came out 
from this interview in a fit of great vexation and 
anger. He pulled off the queen's ring and 
threw it from him, muttering curses upon the 
fickleness and faithlessness of women. 

Still Elizabeth would not admit that the 
match was broken off. She continued to treat 
him with great civility and to pay him many 
honors. He decided, however, to return to the 

lSo' Queen Elizabeth. [1581. 

The duke's departure. The farewell. 

Continent. She accompanied him a part of the 
way to the coast, and took leave of him with 
many professions of sorrow at the parting, and 
begged him to come back soon. This he prom- 
ised to do, but he never returned. He lived 
some time afterward in comparative neglect and 
obscurity, and mankind considered the question 
of the marriage of Elizabeth as now, at last, 
settled forever. 

1560-80.] Personal Character. 187 

Opinions of Elizabeth's character. The Catholics and Protestants. 

Chapter IX. 

Personal Character. 

1Y/TANKIND have always been very much 
— »-*- divided in opinion in respect to the per- 
sonal character of Queen Elizabeth, but in one 
point all have agreed, and that is, that in the 
management of public affairs she was a wom- 
an of extraordinary talent and sagacity, com- 
bining, in a very remarkable degree, a certain 
cautious good sense and prudence with the most 
determined resolution and energy. 

She reigned about forty years, and during 
almost all that time the whole western part of 
the Continent of Europe was convulsed with the 
most terrible conflicts between the Protestant 
and Catholic parties. The predominance of 
power was with the Catholics, and was, of 
course, hostile to Elizabeth. There was, more- 
over, in the field a very prominent competitor 
to her throne in Mary Queen of Scots. The 
foreign Protestant powers were ready to aid this 
claimant, and there was, besides, in her own 
dominions a very powerful interest in her favor. 

188 Queen Elizabeth. [1560-80. 

Parties in England. Elizabeth's wise administration. 

The great divisions of sentiment in England, 
and the energy with which each party struggled 
against its opponents, produced, at all times, a 
prodigious pressure of opposing forces, which 
bore heavily upon the safety of the state and of 
Elizabeth's government, and threatened them 
with continual danger. The administration of 
public affairs moved on. during all this time, 
trembling continually under the heavy shocks it 
was constantly receiving, like a ship staggering 
on in a storm, its safety depending on the nice 
equilibrium between the shocks of the seas, the 
pressure of the wind upon the sails, and the 
weight and steadiness of the ballast below. 

During all this forty years it is admitted that 
Elizabeth and her wise and sagacious minis- 
ters managed very admirably. They main- 
tained the position and honor of England, as a 
Protestant power, with great success ; and the 
country, during the whole period, made great 
progress in the arts, in commerce, and in im- 
provements of every kind. Elizabeth's great- 
est danger, and her greatest source of solicitude 
during her whole reign, was from the claims of 
Mary Queen of Scots. We have already de- 
scribed the energetic measures which she took 
at the commencement of her reign to counter- 

1560-80.] Personal Character. 189 

Mary claims the English throne. She is made prisoner by Elizabeth. 

act and head off, at the outset, these dangerous 
pretensions. Though these efforts were tri- 
umphantly successful at the time, still the vic- 
tory was not final. It postponed, but did not 
destroy, the danger. Mary continued to claim 
the English throne. Innumerable plots were 
beginning to be formed among the Catholics, in 
Elizabeth's own dominions, for making her 
queen. Foreign potentates and powers were 
watching an opportunity to assist in these plans. 
At last Mary, on account of internal difficulties 
in her own land, fled across the frontier into 
England to save her life, and Elizabeth made 
her prisoner. 

In England, to plan or design the dethrone- 
ment of a monarch is, in a subject, high trea- 
son. Mary had undoubtedly designed the de- 
thronement of Elizabeth, and was waiting only 
an opportunity to accomplish it. Elizabeth, 
consequently, condemned her as guilty of trea- 
son, in effect ; and Mary's sole defense against 
this charge was that she was not a subject. 
Elizabeth yielded to this plea, when she first 
found Mary in her power, so far as not to take 
her life, but she consigned her to a long and 
weary captivity. 

This, however, only made the matter worse. 

190 Queen Elizabeth. [1586. 

Various plots. Execution of Mary. 

It stimulated the enthusiasm and zeal of all the 
Catholics in England to have their leader, and, 
as they believed, their rightful queen, a captive 
in the midst of them, and they formed contin- 
ually the most extensive and most dangerous 
plots. These plots were discovered and sup- 
pressed, one after another, each one producing 
more anxiety and alarm than the preceding. 
For a time Mary suffered no evil consequences 
from these discoveries further than an increase 
of the rigors of her confinement. At last the 
patience of the queen and of her government 
was exhausted. A law was passed against 
treason, expressed in such terms as to include 
Mary in the liability for its dreadful penalties, 
although she was not a subject, in case of any 
new transgression ; and when the next case oc- 
curred, they brought her to trial and condemn- 
ed her to death. The sentence was executed 
in the gloomy castle of Fotheringay, where she 
was then confined. 

As to the question whether Mary or Eliza- 
beth had the rightful title to the English crown, 
it has not only never been settled, but from its 
very nature it can not be settled. It is one of 
those cases in which a peculiar contingency oc- 
curs which runs beyond the scope and reach of 

1586.] Personal Character. 191 

The impossibility of settling the claims of Mary and Elizabeth. 

all the ordinary principles by which analogous 
cases are tried, and leads to questions which 
can not be decided. As long as a hereditary 
succession goes smoothly on, like a river keep- 
ing within its banks, we can decide subordinate 
and incidental questions which may arise ; but 
when a case occurs in which we have the om- 
nipotence of Parliament to set off against the 
infallibility of the pope — the sacred obligations 
of a will against the equally sacred principles 
of hereditary succession— and when we have, at 
last, two contradictory actions of the same ul- 
timate umpire, we find all technical grounds of 
coming to a conclusion gone. We then, aban- 
doning these, seek for some higher and more 
universal principles — essential in the nature of 
things, and thus independent of the will and ac- 
tion of man — to see if they will throw any light 
on the subject. But we soon find ourselves as 
much perplexed and confounded in this inquiry 
as we were before. We ask, in beginning the 
investigation, What is the ground and nature 
of the right by which any king' or queen suc- 
ceeds to the power possessed by his ancestors ? 
And we give up in despair, not being able to 
answer even this first preliminary inquiry. 
Mankind have not, in their estimate of Eliz- 

192 Queen Elizabeth. [1586. 

Elizabeth's duplicity. Her scheming to entrap Mary. 

abeth's character, condemned so decidedly the 
substantial acts which she performed, as the 
duplicity, the false-heartedness, and the false 
pretensions which she manifested in perform- 
ing them. Had she said frankly and openly to 
Mary before the world, If these schemes for rev- 
olutionizing England and placing yourself upon 
the throne continue, your life must be forfeited ; 
my own safety and the safety of the realm ab- 
solutely demand it ; and then had fairly, and 
openly, and honestly executed her threat, man- 
kind would have been silent on the subject, if 
they had not been satisfied. But if she had 
really acted thus, she would not have been 
Elizabeth. She, in fact, pursued a very differ- 
ent course. She maneuvered, schemed, and 
planned ; she pretended to be full of the warm- 
est affection for her cousin ; she contrived plot 
after plot, and scheme after scheme, to ensnare 
her ; and when, at last, the execution took place, 
in obedience to her own formal and written au- 
thority, she pretended to great astonishment and 
rage. She never meant that the sentence should 
take effect. She filled England, France, and 
Scotland with the loud expressions of her re- 
gret, and she punished the agents who had ex- 
ecuted her will. This management was to pre- 

1560-80.] Personal Character. 193 

Maiden ladies. Their benevolent spirit. 

vent the friends of Mary from forming plans of 

This was her character in all things. She 
was famous for her false pretensions and double 
dealings, and yet, with all her talents and sa- 
gacity, the disguise she assumed was sometimes 
so thin and transparent that her assuming it 
was simply ridiculous. 

Maiden ladies, who spend their lives, in some 
respects, alone, often become deeply imbued 
with a kind and benevolent spirit, which seeks 
its gratification in relieving the pains and pro- 
moting the happiness of all around them. Con- 
scious that the circumstances which have caused 
them to lead a single life would secure for them 
the sincere sympathy and the increased esteem 
of all who know them, if delicacy and proprie- 
ty allowed them to be expressed, they feel a 
strong degree of self-respect, they live happily, 
and are a continual means of comfort and joy 
to all around them. This was not so, however, 
with Elizabeth. She was jealous, petulant, ir- 
ritable. She envied others the love and the do- 
mestic enjoyments which ambition forbade her 
to share, and she seemed to take great pleasure 
in thwarting and interfering with the plans of 
others for securing this happiness. 

194 Queen Elizabeth. [1560-80. 

Elizabeth's selfishness and jealousy. The maids of honor. 

One remarkable instance of this kind occur- 
red. It seems she was sometimes accustomed 
to ask the young ladies of the court — her maids 
of honor — if they ever thought about being mar- 
ried, and they, being cunning enough to know 
what sort of an answer would please the queen, 
always promptly denied that they did so. Oh 
no ! they never thought about being married at 
all. There was one young lady, however, art- 
less and sincere, who, when questioned in this 
way, answered, in her simplicity, that she often 
thought of it, and that she should like to be 
married very much, if her father would only 
consent to her union with a certain gentleman 
whom she loved. " Ah !" said Elizabeth ; "well, 
I will speak to your father about it, and see 
what I can do." Not long after this the father 
of the young lady came to court, and the queen 
proposed the subject to him. The father said 
that he had not been aware that his daughter 
had formed such an attachment, but that he 
should certainly give his consent, without any 
hesitation, to any arrangement of that kind 
which the queen desired and advised. " That 
is all, then," said the queen ; " I will do the rest." 
So she called the young lady into her presence, 
and told her that her father had given his free 

1560—80.] Personal Character. 195 

Instance of Elizabeth's cruelty. Her irritable temper. 

consent. The maiden's heart bounded with joy, 
and she began to express her happiness and her 
gratitude to the queen, promising to do every- 
thing in her power to please her, when Eliza- 
beth interrupted her, saying, " Yes, you will 
act so as to please me, I have no doubt, but you 
are not going to be a fool and get married. 
Your father has given his consent to me, and 
not to you, and you may rely upon it you will 
never get it out of my possession. You were 
pretty bold to acknowledge your foolishness to 
me so readily." 

Elizabeth was very irritable, and could never 
bear any contradiction. In the case even of 
Leicester, who had such an unbounded influ- 
ence over her, if he presumed a little too much 
he would meet sometimes a very severe rebuff, 
such as nobody but a courtier would endure ; 
but courtiers, haughty and arrogant as they are 
in their bearing toward inferiors, are generally 
fawning sycophants toward those above them, 
and they will submit to any thing imaginable 
from a queen. 

It was the custom in Elizabeth's days, as it 
is now among the great in European countries, 
to have a series or suite of rooms, one beyond 
the other, the inner one being the presence- 

196 Queen Elizabeth. [1560-80. 

Leicester's 1'riend and the gentleman of the Mack rod. 

chamber, and the others being occupied by at- 
tendants and servants of various grades, to reg- 
ulate and control the admission of company. 
Some of these officers were styled gentlemen of 
the black rod, that name being derived from a 
peculiar badge of authority which they were 
accustomed to carry. It happened, one day, 
that a certain gay captain, a follower of Leices- 
ter's, and a sort of favorite of his, was stopped 
in the antechamber by one of the gentlemen of 
the black rod, named Bowyer, the queen hav- 
ing ordered him to be more careful and partic- 
ular in respect to the admission of company. 
The captain, who was proud of the favor which 
he enjoyed with Leicester, resented this affront, 
and threatened the officer, and he was engaged 
in an altercation with him on the subject when 
Leicester came in. Leicester took his favor- 
ite's part, and told the gentleman usher that he 
was a knave, and that he would have him turn- 
ed out of office. Leicester was accustomed to 
feel so much confidence in his power over Eliz- 
abeth, that his manner toward all beneath him 
had become exceedingly haughty and overbear- 
ing. He supposed, probably, that the officer 
would humble himself at once before his re- 

1560-80.] Personal Character. 197 

Elizabeth in a rage. Her invectives against Leicester. 

The officer, however, instead of this, stepped 
directly in before Leicester, who was then go- 
ing in himself to the presence of the queen ; 
kneeled before her majesty, related the facts of 
the case, and humbly asked what it was her 
pleasure that he should do. He had obeyed her 
majesty's orders, he said, and had been called 
imperiously to account for it, and threatened 
violently by Leicester, and he wished now to 
know whether Leicester was king or her maj- 
esty queen. Elizabeth was very much dis- 
pleased with the conduct of her favorite. She 
turned to him, and, beginning with a sort of 
oath which she was accustomed to use when 
irritated and angry, she addressed him in in- 
vectives and reproaches the most severe. She 
gave him, in a word, what would be called a 
scolding, were it not that scolding is a term not 
sufficiently dignified for history, even for such 
humble history as this. She told him that she 
had indeed shown him favor, but her favor 
was not so fixed and settled upon him that no- 
body else was to have any share, and that if he 
imagined that he could lord it over her house- 
hold, she would contrive a way very soon to 
convince him of his mistake. There was one 
mistress to rule there, she said, but no master. 

198 Queen Elizabeth. [1560-80. 

Leicester's chagrin. Elizabeth's powers of satire. 

She then dismissed Bowyer, telling Leicester 
that, if any evil happened to him, she should 
hold him, that is, Leicester, to a strict account 
for it, as she should be convinced it would have 
come through his means. 

Leicester was exceedingly chagrined at this 
result of the difficulty. Of course he dared not 
defend himself or reply. All the other courtiers 
enjoyed his confusion very highly, and one of 
them, in giving an account of the affair, said, 
in conclusion, that " the queen's words so quell- 
ed him, that, for some time after, his feigned 
humility was one of his best virtues." 

Queen Elizabeth very evidently possessed 
that peculiar combination of quickness of intel- 
lect and readiness of tongue which enables 
those who possess it to say very sharp and bit- 
ing things, when vexed or out of humor. It is 
a brilliant talent, though it always makes those 
who possess it hated and feared. Elizabeth 
was often wantonly cruel in the exercise of this 
satirical power, considering very little — as is 
usually the case with such persons — the justice 
of her invectives, but obeying blindly the im- 
pulses of the ill nature which prompted her to 
utter them. We have already said that she 
seemed always to have a special feeling of ill 

1560-80.] Personal Character. 199 

Elizabeth's views of marriage. Her insulting conduct. 

will against marriage and every thing that per- 
tained to it, and she had, particularly, a theory 
that the bishops and the clergy ought not to be 
married. She could not absolutely prohibit 
their marrying, but she did issue an injunction 
forbidding any of the heads of the colleges or 
cathedrals to take their wives into the same, or 
any of their precincts. At one time, in one of 
her royal progresses through the country, she 
was received, and very magnificently and hos- 
pitably entertained, by the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury, at his palace. The archbishop's wife 
exerted herself very particularly to please the 
queen and to do her honor. Elizabeth evinced 
her gratitude by turning to her, as she was 
about to take her leave, and saying that she 
could not call her the archbishop's wife, and did 
not like to call her his mistress, and so she did 
not know what to call her ; but that, at all 
events, she was very much obliged to her for 
her hospitality. 

Elizabeth's highest officers of state were con- 
tinually exposed to her sharp and sudden re- 
proaches, and they often incurred them by sin- 
cere and honest efforts to gratify and serve her. 
She had made an arrangement, one day, to go 
into the city of London to St. Paul's Church, to 

200 Queen Elizabeth. [1560-80. 

The Dean of Christ Church and the Prayer Book. 

hear the Dean of Christ Church, a distinguish- 
ed clergyman, preach. The dean procured a 
copy of the Prayer Book, and had it splendidly 
bound, with a great number of beautiful and 
costly prints interleaved in it. These prints 
were all of a religious character, being repre- 
sentations of sacred history, or of scenes in the 
lives of the saints. The volume, thus prepared, 
was very beautiful, and it was placed, when the 
Sabbath morning arrived, upon the queen's 
cushion at the church, ready for her use. The 
queen entered in great state, and took her seat 
in the midst of all the parade and ceremony 
customary on such occasions. As soon, how- 
ever, as she opened the book and saw the pic- 
tures, she frowned, and seemed to be much dis- 
pleased. She shut the book and put it away, 
and called for her own ; and, after the service, 
she sent for the dean, and asked him who brought 
that book there. He replied, in a very humble 
and submissive manner, that he had procured 
it himself, having intended it as a present for 
her majesty. This only produced fresh expres- 
sions of displeasure. She proceeded to rebuke 
him severely for countenancing such a popish 
practice as the introduction of pictures in the 
churches. All this time Elizabeth had herself 

1560-80.] Personal Character. 201 

Elizabeth's good qualities. 

a crucifix in her own private chapel, and the 
dean himself, on the other hand, was a firm and 
consistent Protestant, entirely opposed to the 
Catholic system of images and pictures, as Eliz- 
abeth very well knew. 

This sort of roughness was a somewhat mas- 
culine trait of character for a lady, it must be 
acknowledged, and not a very agreeable one, 
even in man ; but with some of the bad qual- 
ities of the other sex, Elizabeth possessed, also, 
some that were good. She was courageous, and 
she evinced her courage sometimes in a very 
noble manner. At one time, when political ex- 
citement ran very high, her friends thought that 
there was serious danger in her appearing open- 
ly in public, and they urged her not to do it, 
but to confine herself within her palaces for a 
time, until the excitement should pass away. 
But no ; the representations made to her pro- 
duced no effect. She said she would continue 
to go out just as freely as ever. She did not 
think that there was really any danger ; and 
besides, if there was, she did not care ; she would 
rather take her chance of being killed than to 
be kept shut up like a prisoner. 

At the time, too, when the shot was fired at 
the bars:e in which she was srmtiof down the 

202 Queen Elizabeth. [1560-80. 

The shot at the barge. Elizabeth's vanity. 

Thames, many of her ministers thought it was 
aimed at her. They endeavored to convince 
her of this, and urged her not to expose herself 
to such dangers. She replied that she did not 
believe that the shot was aimed at her ; and 
that, in fact, she would not believe any thing of 
her subjects which a father would not be willing 
to believe of his own children. So she went on 
sailing in her barge just as before. 

Elizabeth was very vain of her beauty, 
though, unfortunately, she had very little beau- 
ty to be vain of. Nothing pleased her so much 
as compliments. She sometimes almost exact- 
ed them. At one time, when a distinguished 
embassador from Mary Queen of Scots was at 
her court, she insisted on his telling her wheth- 
er she or Mary was the most beautiful. When 
We consider that Elizabeth was at this time over 
thirty years of age, and Mary only twenty-two, 
and that the fame of Mary's loveliness had filled 
the world, it must be admitted that this ques- 
tion indicated a considerable degree of self-com- 
placency. The embassador had the prudence 
to attempt to evade the inquiry. He said at 
first that they were both beautiful enough. But 
Elizabeth wanted to know, she said, which was 
most beautiful. The embassador then said that 

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth. 

1560—80.] Personal Character. 205 

Elizabeth and the embassador. The pictures. 

his queen was the most beautiful queen in Scot- 
land and Elizabeth in England. Elizabeth was 
not satisfied with this, but insisted on a definite 
answer to her question ; and the embassador 
said at last that Elizabeth had the fairest com- 
plexion, though Mary was considered a very 
lovely woman. Elizabeth then wanted to know 
which was the tallest of the two. The embas- 
sador said that Mary was. " Then," said Eliz- 
abeth, " she is too tall, for I am just of the right 
height myself." 

At one time during Elizabeth's reign, the 
people took a fancy to engrave and print por- 
traits of her, which, being perhaps tolerably 
faithful to the original, were not very alluring. 
The queen was much vexed at the circulation 
of these prints, and finally she caused a grave 
and formal proclamation to be issued against 
them. In this proclamation it was stated that 
it was the intention of the queen, at some fu- 
ture time, to have a proper artist employed to 
execute a correct and true portrait of herself, 
which should then be published; and, in the 
mean time, all persons were forbidden to make 
or sell any representations of her whatever. 

Elizabeth was extremely fond of pomp and 
parade. The magnificence and splendor of the 

206 Queen Elizabeth. [1560-80. 

Elizabeth's fondness for pomp and parade. 

celebrations and festivities which characterized 
her reign have scarcely ever been surpassed in 
any country or in any age. She once went to 
attend Church, on a particular occasion, ac- 
companied by a thousand men in full armor 
of steel, and ten pieces of cannon, with drums 
and trumpets sounding. She received her for- 
eign embassadors with military spectacles and 
shows, and with banquets and parties of pleas- 
ure, which for many days kept all London in 
a fever of excitement. Sometimes she made 
excursions on the river, with whole fleets of 
boats and barges in her train ; the shores, on 
such occasions, swarming with spectators, and 
waving with flags and banners. Sometimes 
she would make grand progresses through her 
dominions, followed by an army of attendants 
— lords and ladies dressed and mounted in the 
most costly manner — and putting the nobles 
whose seats she visited to a vast expense in en- 
tertaining such a crowd of visitors. Being very 
saving of her own means, she generally con- 
trived to bring the expense of this magnificence 
upon others. The honor was a sufficient equiv- 
alent. Or, if it was not, nobody dared to com- 

To sum up all, Elizabeth was very great, 

1560-80.] Personal Character. 207 

Summary of Elizabeth's character. 

and she was, at the same time, very little. Lit- 
tleness and greatness mingled in her character 
in a manner which has scarcely ever been par- 
alleled, except by the equally singular mixture 
of admiration and contempt with which man- 
kind have always regarded her. 

208 Queen Elizabeth. [1558. 

Fierce contests between Catholics and Protestants. Philip's cruelty. 

Chapter X. 

The Invincible Armada. 

f I THIRTY years of Queen Elizabeth's reign 
-*- passed away. During all this time the 
murderous contests between the Catholic gov- 
ernments of France and Spain and their Prot- 
estant subjects went on with terrible energy. 
Philip of Spain was the great leader and head 
of the Catholic powers, and he prosecuted his 
work of exterminating heresy with the stern- 
est and most merciless determination. Obsti- 
nate and protracted wars, cruel tortures, and 
imprisonments and executions without number, 
marked his reign. 

Notwithstanding all this, however, strange 
as it may seem, the country increased in pop- 
ulation, wealth, and prosperity. It is, after all, 
but a very small proportion of fifty millions of 
people which the most cruel monster of a ty- 
rant can kill, even if he devotes himself fully to 
the work. The natural deaths among the vast 
population within the reach of Philip's power 
amounted, probably, to two millions every year ; 

1585.] The Invincible Armada. 209 

Effects of War. Napoleon and Xerxes. 

and if he destroyed ten thousand every year, 
it was only adding one death by violence to 
two hundred produced by accidents, disasters, 
or age. Dreadful as are the atrocities of per- 
secution and war, and vast and incalculable as 
are the encroachments on human happiness 
which they produce, we are often led to over- 
rate their relative importance, compared with 
the aggregate value of the interests and pur- 
suits which are left unharmed by them, by not 
sufficiently appreciating the enormous extent 
and magnitude of these interests and pursuits 
in such communities as England, France, and 

Sometimes, it is true, the operations of mil- 
itary heroes have been on such a prodigious 
scale as to make very serious inroads on the 
population of the greatest states. Napoleon, 
for instance, on one occasion took five hundred 
thousand men out of France for his expedition 
to Russia. The campaign destroyed nearly all 
of them. It was only a very insignificant frac- 
tion of the vast army that ever returned. By 
this transaction, Napoleon thus just about doub- 
led the annual mortality in France at a single 
blow. Xerxes enjoys the glory of having de- 
stroyed about a million of men — and these, not 

210 Queen Elizabeth. [1585. 

March of improvement. Spanish armadas. 

enemies, but countrymen, followers, and friends 
— in the same way, on a single expedition. 
Such vast results, however, were not attained 
in the conflicts which marked the reigns of 
Elizabeth and Philip of Spain. Notwithstand- 
ing the long-protracted international wars, and 
dreadful civil commotions of the period, the 
world went on increasing in wealth and popu- 
lation, and all the arts and improvements of 
life made very rapid progress. America had 
been discovered, and the way to the East In- 
dies had been opened to European ships, and 
the Spaniards, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the 
English, and the French, had fleets of merchant 
vessels and ships of war in every sea. The 
Spaniards, particularly, had acquired great pos- 
sessions in America, which contained very rich 
mines of gold and silver, and there was a par- 
ticular kind of vessels called galleons, which 
went regularly once a year, under a strong con- 
voy, to bring home the treasure. They used to 
call these fleets armada, which is the Spanish 
word denoting an armed squadron. Nations at 
war with Spain always made great efforts to 
intercept and seize these ships on their home- 
ward voyages, when, being laden with gold and 
silver, they became prizes of the highest value. 

1585.] The Invincible Armada. 211 

The Low Countries. Their situation and condition. 

Things were in this state about the year 
1585, when Queen Elizabeth received a propo- 
sition from the Continent of Europe which threw 
her into great perplexity. Among the other 
dominions of Philip of Spain, there were certain 
states situated in the broad tract of low, level 
land which lies northeast of France, and which 
constitutes, at the present day, the countries of 
Holland and Belgium. This territory was then 
divided into several provinces, which were call- 
ed, usually, the Low Countries, on account of 
the low and level situation of the land. In fact, 
there are vast tracts of land bordering the shore, 
which lie so low that dikes have to be built to 
keep out the sea. In these cases, there arc 
lines of windmills, of great size and power, all 
along the coast, whose vast wings are always 
slowly revolving, to pump out the water which 
percolates through the dikes, or which flows 
from the water-courses after showers of rain. 

The Low Countries were very unwilling to 
submit to the tyrannical government which 
Philip exercised over them. The inhabitants 
were generally Protestants, and Philip perse- 
cuted them cruelly. They were, in consequence 
of this, continually rebelling against his author- 
ity, and Elizabeth secretly aided them in these 

212 Queen Elizabeth. [1585. 

Embassage from the Low Countries. Their proposition. 

struggles, though she would not openly assist 
them, as she did not wish to provoke Philip to 
open war. She wished them success, however, 
for she knew very well that if Philip could once 
subdue his Protestant subjects at home, he 
would immediately turn his attention to En- 
gland, and perhaps undertake to depose Eliza- 
beth, and place some Catholic prince or prin- 
cess upon the throne in her stead. 

Things were in this state in 1585, when the 
confederate provinces of the Low Countries 
sent an embassage to Elizabeth, offering her 
the government of the country as sovereign 
queen, if she would openly espouse their cause 
and protect them from Philip's power. This 
proposition called for very serious and anxious 
consideration. Elizabeth felt very desirous to 
make this addition to her dominions on its own 
account, and besides, she saw at once that such 
an acquisition would give her a great advant- 
age in her future contests with Philip, if actual 
war must come. But then, on the other hand, 
by accepting the proposition, war must necessa- 
rily be brought on at once. Philip would, in 
fact, consider her espousing the cause of his re- 
bellious subjects as an actual declaration of war 
on her part, so that making such a league with 

1585.] The Invincible Armada. 213 

Elizabeth's decision. Leicester and Drake. 

these countries would plunge her at once into 
hostilities with the greatest and most extended 
power on the globe. Elizabeth was very un- 
willing thus to precipitate the contest ; but 
then, on the other hand, she wished very much 
to avoid the danger that threatened of Philip's 
first subduing his own dominions, and then ad- 
vancing to the invasion of England with his un- 
divided strength. She finally concluded not to 
accept the sovereignty of the countries, but to 
make a league, offensive and defensive, with 
the governments, and to send out a fleet and an 
army to aid them. This, as she had expected, 
brought on a general war. 

The queen commissioned Leicester to take 
command of the forces which were to proceed 
to Holland and the Netherlands ; she also equip- 
ped a fleet, and placed it under the command 
of Sir Francis Drake, a very celebrated naval 
captain, to proceed across the Atlantic and at- 
tack the Spanish possessions on the American 
shores. Leicester was extremely elated with 
his appointment, and set off on his expedition 
with great pomp and parade. He had not gen- 
erally, during his life, held stations of any great 
trust or responsibility. The queen had confer- 
red upon him high titles and vast estates, but 

214 Queen Elizabeth. [1585. 

Leicester sets out for the Low Countries. His reception. 

she had confided all real power to far more ca- 
pable and trustworthy hands. She thought 
however, perhaps, that Leicester would answer 
for her allies ; so she gave him his commission 
and sent him forth, charging him, with many 
injunctions, as he went away, to be discreet 
and faithful, and to do nothing which should 
compromise, in any way, her interests or honor. 

It will, perhaps, be recollected that Leicester's 
wife had been, before her marriage with him, 
the wife of a nobleman named the Earl of Es- 
sex. She had a son, who, at his father's death, 
succeeded to the title. This young Essex ac- 
companied Leicester on this occasion. His sub- 
sequent adventures, which were romantic and 
extraordinary, will be narrated in the next 

The people^of the Netherlands, being extreme- 
ly desirous to please Elizabeth, their new ally, 
thought that they could not honor the great 
general she had sent them too highly. They 
received him with most magnificent military 
parades, and passed a vote in their assembly in- 
vesting him with absolute authority as head of 
the government, thus putting him, in fact, in 
the very position which Elizabeth had herself 
declined receiving. Leicester was extremely 

1585.] The Invicible Armada. 215 

Leicester's elation. Elizabeth's displeasure. 

pleased and elated with these honors. He was 
king all but in name. He provided himself 
with a noble life-guard, in imitation of royalty, 
and assumed all the state and airs of a monarch. 
Things went on so very prosperously with him 
for a short time, until he was one day thunder- 
struck by the appearance at his palace of a no- 
bleman from the queen's court, named Hene- 
age, who brought him a letter from Elizabeth, 
which was in substance as follows : 

" How foolishly, and with what contempt of 
my authority, I think you have acted, the mes- 
senger I now send to you will explain. I little 
imagined that a man whom I had raised from 
the dust, and treated with so much favor, would 
have forgotten all his obligations, and acted in 
such a manner. I command you now to put 
yourself entirely under the direction of this mes- 
senger, to do in all things precisely as he re- 
quires, upon pain of further peril." 

Leicester humbled himself immediately un- 
der this rebuke, sent home most ample apolo- 
gies and prayers for forgiveness, and, after a 
time, gradually recovered the favor of the queen. 
He soon, however, became very unpopular in 

216 Queen Elizabeth. [1577. 

Drake's success. His deeds of cruelty. 

the Netherlands. Grievous complaints were 
made against him, and he was at length recalled. 

Drake was more successful. He was a bold, 
undaunted, and energetic seaman, but unprin- 
cipled and merciless. He manned and equipped 
his fleet, and set sail toward the Spanish pos- 
sessions in America. He attacked the colonies, 
sacked the towns, plundered the inhabitants, 
intercepted the ships, and searched them for sil- 
ver and gold. In a word, he did exactly what 
pirates are hung for doing, and execrated aft- 
erward by all mankind. But, as Queen Eliz- 
abeth gave him permission to perform these ex- 
ploits, he has always been applauded by man- 
kind as a hero. We would not be understood 
as denying that there is any difference between 
burning and plundering innocent towns and 
robbing ships, whether there is or is not a gov- 
ernmental permission to commit these crimes. 
There certainly is a difference. It only seems 
to us surprising that there should be so great a 
difference as is made by the general estimation 
of mankind. 

Drake, in fact, had acquired a great and hon- 
orable celebrity for such deeds before this time, 
by a similar expedition, several years before, in 
which he had been driven to make the circum- 

1578.] The Invincible Armada. 217 

Drake's expedition in 1577. Execution of Doughty. 

navigation of the globe. England and Spain 
were then nominally at peace, and the expedi- 
tion was really in pursuit of prizes and plunder. 
Drake took five vessels with him on this his 
first expedition, but they were all very small. 
The largest was only a vessel of one hundred 
tons, while the ships which are now built are 
often of three thousand. With this little fleet 
Drake set sail boldly, and crossed the Atlantic, 
being fifty-five days out of sight of land. He 
arrived at last on the coast of South America, 
and then turned his course southward, toward 
the Straits of Magellan. Two of his vessels, 
he found, were so small as to be of very little 
service ; so he shipped the men on board the 
others, and turned the two adrift. When he 
got well into the southern seas, he charged his 
chief mate, whose name was Doughty, with 
some offense against the discipline of his little 
fleet, and had him condemned to death. He 
was executed at the Straits of Magellan — be- 
headed. Before he died, the unhappy convict 
had the sacrament administered to him, Drake 
himself partaking of it with him. It was said, 
and believed at the time, that the charge against 
Doughty was only a pretense, and that the 
real cause of his death was, that Leicester had 

218 Queen Elizabeth. [1579. 

Straits of Magellan. Drake plunders the Spaniards. 

agreed with Drake to kill him when far away, 
on account of his having assisted, with others, 
in spreading the reports that Leicester had mur- 
dered the Earl of Essex, the former husband 
of his wife. 

The little squadron passed through the Straits 
of Magellan, and then encountered a dreadful 
storm, which separated the ships, and drove 
them several hundred miles to the westward, 
over the then boundless " and trackless waters 
of the Pacific Ocean. Drake himself afterward 
recovered the shore with his own ship alone, 
and moved northward. He found Spanish ships 
and Spanish merchants every where, who, not 
dreaming of the presence of an English enemy 
in those distant seas, were entirely secure ; and 
they fell, one after another, a very easy prey. 
The very extraordinary story is told of his find- 
ing, in one place, a Spaniard asleep upon the 
shore, waiting, perhaps, for a boat, with thirty 
bars of silver by his side, of great weight and 
value, which Drake and his men seized and car- 
ried off, without so much as waking the owner. 
In one harbor which he entered he found three 
ships, from which the seamen had all gone 
ashore, leaving the vessels completely unguard- 
ed, so entirely unconscious were they of any 

1579.] The Invincible Armada. 219 

Chase of the Cacofogo. Drake captures her. 

danger near. Drake broke into the cabins of 
these ships, and found fifty or sixty wedges of 
pure silver there, of twenty pounds each. In 
this way, as he passed along the coast, he col- 
lected an immense treasure in silver and gold, 
both coin and bullion, without having to strike 
a blow for it. At last he heard of a very rich 
ship, called the Cacofogo, which had recently 
sailed for Panama, to which place they were 
taking the treasure, in order that it might be 
transported across the isthmus, and so taken 
home to Spain ; for, before Drake's voyage, 
scarcely a single vessel had ever passed round 
Cape Horn. The ships which he had plun- 
dered had been all built upon the coast, by 
Spaniards who had come across the country at 
the Isthmus of Darien, and were to be used 
only to transport the treasure northward, where 
it could be taken across to the Gulf of Mexico. 
Drake gave chase to the Cacofogo. At last 
he came near enough to fire into her, and one 
of his first shots cut away her foremast and dis- 
abled her. He soon captured the ship, and he 
found immense riches on board. Besides pearls 
and precious stones of great value, there were 
eighty pounds of gold, thirteen chests of silver 
coin, and silver enough in bars " to ballast a 

220 Queen Elizabeth. [1581. 

Drake's escape by going round the world. 

Drake's vessel was now richly laden with 
treasures, but in the mean time the news of his 
plunderings had gone across the Continent, and 
some Spanish ships of war had gone south to 
intercept him at the Straits of Magellan on his 
return. In this dilemma, the adventurous sail- 
or conceived of the sublime idea of avoiding 
them by going round the world to get home. 
He pushed boldly forward, therefore, across the 
Pacific Ocean to the East Indies, thence through 
the Indian Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope, 
and, after three years from the time he left En- 
gland, he returned to it safely again, his ship 
loaded with the plundered silver and gold. 

As soon as he arrived in the Thames, the 
whole world flocked to see the little ship that 
had performed all these wonders. The vessel 
was drawn up alongside the land, and a bridge 
made to it, and, after the treasure was taken 
out, it was given up, for some time, to banquet- 
ings and celebrations of every kind. The queen 
took possession of all the treasure, saying that 
Philip might demand it, and she be forced to 
make restitution, for it must be remembered 
that all this took place several years before the 
war. She, however, treated the successful sail- 
or with every mark of consideration and honor ; 

1587.] The Invincible Armada. 221 

Character of Drake. Philip demands the treasure. 

she went herself on board his ship, and partook 
of an entertainment there, conferring the honor 
of knighthood, at the same time, on the admi- 
ral, so that " Sir Francis Drake" was thence- 
forth his proper title. 

If the facts already stated do not give suffi- 
cient indications of the kind of character which 
in those days made a naval hero, one other cir- 
cumstance may be added. At one time during 
this voyage, a Spaniard, whose ship Drake had 
spared, made him a present of a beautiful ne- 
gro girl. Drake kept her on board his ship for 
a time, and then sent her ashore on some island 
that he was passing, and inhumanly abandoned 
her there, to become a mother among strangers, 
utterly friendless and alone. It must be added, 
however, in justice to the rude men among 
whom this wild buccaneer lived, that, though 
they praised all his other deeds of violence and 
wrong, this atrocious cruelty was condemned. 
It had the effect, even in those days, of tarnish- 
ing his fame. 

Philip did claim the money, but Elizabeth 
found plenty of good excuses for not paying it 
over to him. 

This celebrated expedition occupied more 
than three years. Going round the world is a 


Queen Elizabeth. [1587. 

Alarming news. 

Elizabeth's navy. 

long journey. The arrival of the ship in Lon- 
don took place in 1581, four years before the 
war actually broke out between England and 
Spain, which was in 1585 ; and it was in con- 
sequence of the great celebrity which Drake had 
acquired in this and similar excursions, that 
when at last hostilities commenced, he was put 
in command of the naval preparations. It was 
not long before it was found that his services 
were likely to be required near home, for ru- 
mors began to find their way to England that 
Philip was preparing a great fleet for the actual 
invasion of England. The news put the whole 
country into a state of great alarm. 

The reader, in order to understand fully the 
grounds for this alarm, must remember that in 
those days Spain was the mistress of the ocean, 
and not England herself. Spain possessed the 
distant colonies and the foreign commerce, and 
built and armed the great ships, while England 
had comparatively few ships, and those which 
she had were small. To meet the formidable 
preparations which the Spaniards were making, 
Elizabeth equipped only four ships. To these, 
however, the merchants of London added twen- 
ty or thirty more, of various sizes, which they 
furnished on condition of having a share in the 

1587.] The Invincible Armada. 223 

Drake's expedition against the Spaniards. His bold stroke. 

plunder which they hoped would be secured. 
The whole fleet was put under Drake's com- 

Robbers and murderers, whether those that 
operate upon the sea or on the land, are gener- 
ally courageous, and Drake's former success 
had made him feel doubly confident and strong. 
Philip had collected a considerable fleet of ships 
in Cadiz, which is a strong sea-port in the south- 
eastern part of Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea, 
and others were assembling in all the ports and 
bays along the shore, wherever they could be 
built or purchased. They were to rendezvous 
finally at Cadiz. Drake pushed boldly forward, 
and, to the astonishment of the world, forced his 
way into the harbor, through a squadron of gal- 
leys stationed there to protect the entrance, and 
burned, sunk, and destroyed more than a hun- 
dred ships which had been collected there. The 
whole work was done, and the little English 
fleet was off again, before the Spaniards could 
recover from their astonishment. Drake then 
sailed along the coast, seizing and destroying all 
the ships he could find. He next pushed to sea 
a little way, and had the good fortune to inter- 
cept and capture a richly-laden ship of very 
large size, called a c arrack, which was coming 

224 Queen Elizabeth. [1588. 

Exasperation of Philip. His preparations. 

home from the East Indies. He then went back 
to England in triumph. He said he had been 
"singeing the whiskers" of the King of Spain. 
• The booty was divided among the London 
merchants, as had been agreed upon. Philip 
was exasperated and enraged beyond expression 
at this unexpected destruction of armaments 
which had cost him so much time and money 
to prepare. His spirit was irritated and aroused 
by the disaster, not quelled ; and he immediate- 
ly began to renew his preparations, making them 
now on a still vaster scale than before. The 
amount of damage which Drake effected was, 
therefore, after all, of no greater benefit to En- 
gland than putting back the invasion for about 
a year. 

At length, in the summer of .1588, the prep- 
arations for the sailing of the great armada, 
which was to dethrone Elizabeth and bring back 
the English nation again under the dominion of 
some papal prince, and put down, finally, the 
cause of Protestantism in Europe, were com- 
plete. Elizabeth herself, and the English peo- 
ple, in the mean time, had not been idle. The 
whole kingdom had been for months filled with 
enthusiasm to prepare for meeting the foe. Ar- 
mies were levied and fleets raised. Every mari- 

1588.] The Invincible Armada. 225 

Elizabeth's preparations. The army and navy. 

time town furnished ships ; and rich noblemen, 
in many cases, built or purchased vessels with 
their own funds, and sent them forward ready 
for the battle, as their contribution toward the 
means of defense. A large part of the force thus 
raised was stationed at Plymouth, which is the 
first great sea-port which presents itself on the 
English coast in sailing up the Channel. The 
remainder of it was stationed at the other end of 
the Channel, near the Straits of Dover, for it was 
feared that, in addition to the vast armament 
which Philip was to bring from Spain, he would 
raise another fleet in the Netherlands, which 
would, of course, approach the shores of England 
from the German Ocean. 

Besides the fleets, a large army was raised. 
Twenty thousand men were distributed along 
the southern shores of England in such posi- 
tions as to be most easily concentrated at any 
point where the armada might attempt to land, 
and about as many more were marched down 
the Thames, and encamped near the mouth of 
the river, to guard that access. This encamp- 
ment was at a place on the northern bank of 
the river, just above its mouth. Leicester, 
strange as it may seem, was put in command of 
this army. The queen, however, herself, went 

226 Queen Elizabeth. [1588. 

Elizabeth reviews the troops. Her speech. 

to visit this encampment, and reviewed the 
troops in person. She rode to and fro on horse- 
back along the lines, armed like a warrior. At 
least she had a corslet of polished steel over her 
magnificent dress, and bore a general's trun- 
cheon, a richly-ornamented staff used as a badge 
of command. She had a helmet, too, with a 
white plume. This, however, she did not wear. 
A page bore it, following her, while she rode, at- 
tended by Leicester and the other generals, all 
mounted on horses and splendidly caparisoned, 
from rank to rank, animating the men to the 
highest enthusiasm by her courageous bearing, 
her look of confidence, and her smiles. 

She made an address to the soldiers. She 
said that she had been warned by "some of her 
ministers of the danger of trusting herself to 
the power of such an armed multitude, for these 
forces were not regularly enlisted troops, but 
volunteers from among the citizens, who had 
suddenly left the ordinary avocations and pur- 
suits of life to defend their country in this emer- 
gency. She had, however, she said, no such 
apprehensions of danger. She could trust her- 
self without fear to the courage and fidelity of 
her subjects, as she had always, during all her 
reign, considered her greatest strength and safe- 

1588.] The Invincible Armada. 227 

Elizabeth's energy. Approach of the armada. 

guard as consisting in their loyalty and good 
will. For herself, she had come to the camp, 
she assured them, not for the sake of empty 
pageantry and parade, but to take her share 
with them in the dangers, and toils, and terrors 
of the actual battle. If Philip should land, they 
would find their queen in the hottest of the con- 
flict, fighting by their sides. " I have," said she, 
" I know, only the body of a weak and feeble 
woman, but I have the heart of a king ; and I 
am ready for my God, my kingdom, and my 
people, to have that body laid down, even in the 
dust. If the battle comes, therefore, I shall 
myself be in the midst and front of it, to live 
or die with you." 

These were, thus far, but words, it is true, 
and how far Elizabeth would have vindicated 
their sincerity, if the entrance of the armada 
into the Thames had put her to the test, we 
can not now know. Sir Francis Drake saved 
her from the trial. One morning a small ves- 
sel came into the harbor at Plymouth, where 
the English fleet was lying, with the news that 
the armada was coming up the Channel under 
full sail. The anchors of the fleet were imme- 
diately raised, and great exertions made to get 
it out of the harbor, which was difficult, as the 

228 Queen Elizabeth. [1588. 

A grand spectacle. A singular fight 

wind at the time was blowing directly in. The 
squadron got out at last, as night was coming 
on. The next morning the armada hove in 
sight, advancing from the westward up the 
Channel, in a vast crescent, which extended for 
seven miles from north to south, and seemed to 
sweep the whole sea. 

It was a magnificent spectacle, and it was 
the ushering in of that far grander spectacle 
still, of which the English Channel was the 
scene for the ten days which followed, during 
which the enormous naval structures of the ar- 
mada, as they slowly made their way along, 
were followed, and fired upon, and harassed by 
the smaller, and lighter, and more active ves- 
sels of their English foes. The unwieldy mon- 
sters pressed on, surrounded and worried by their 
nimbler enemies like hawks driven by kingfish- 
ers through the sky. Day after day this most 
extraordinary contest, half flight and half bat- 
tle, continued, every promontory on the shores 
covered all the time with spectators, who list- 
ened to the distant booming of the guns, and 
watched the smokes which arose from the can- 
nonading and the conflagrations. One great 
galleon after another fell a prey. Some were 
burned, some taken as prizes, some driven 

1558.] The Invincible Armada. 231 

Defeat of the armada. A remnant escapes. 

ashore ; and finally, one dark night, the En- 
glish sent a fleet of fire-ships, all in flames, into 
the midst of the anchorage to which the Span- 
iards had retired, which scattered them in ter- 
ror and dismay, and completed the discomfiture 
of the squadron. 

The result was, that by the time the invin- 
cible armada had made its way through the 
Channel, and had passed the Straits of Dover, 
it was so dispersed, and shattered, and broken, 
that its commanders, far from feeling any dis- 
position to sail up the Thames, were only anx- 
ious to make good their escape from their inde- 
fatigable and tormenting foes. They did not 
dare, in attempting to make this escape, to re- 
turn through the Channel, so they pushed north- 
ward into the German Ocean. Their only course 
for getting back to Spain again was to pass 
round the northern side of England, among the 
cold and stormy seas that are rolling in contin- 
ually among the ragged rocks and gloomy isl- 
ands which darken the ocean there. At last a 
miserable remnant of the fleet — less than half — 
made their way back to Spain again. 

232 Queen Elizabeth. [1588. 

Character of Essex. Death of Leicester. 

Chapter XL 

The Earl of Essex. 

FI^HE lady whom the Earl of Leicester mar- 
-*- ried was, a short time before he married 
her, the wife of the Earl of Essex, and she had 
one son, who, on the death of his father, became 
the Earl of Essex in his turn. He came to 
court, and continued in Leicester's family after 
his mother's second marriage. He was an ac- 
complished and elegant young man, and was 
regarded with a good deal of favor by the queen. 
He was introduced at court when he was but 
seventeen years old, and, being the step-son of 
Leicester, he necessarily occupied a conspicu- 
ous position ; his personal qualities, joined with 
this, soon gave him a very high and honorable 

About a month after the victory obtained by 
the English over the invincible armada, Leices- 
ter was seized with a fever on a journey, and, 
after lingering for a few days, died, leaving Es- 
sex, as it were, in his place. Elizabeth seems 
not to have been very inconsolable for her fa- 

1588.] The Earl of Essex. 233 

Essex becomes the queen's favorite. Cecil and Essex. 

vorite's death. She directed, or allowed, his 
property to be sold at auction, to pay some 
debts which he owed her — or, as the historians 
of the day express it, which he owed the crown 
— and then seemed at once to transfer her fond- 
ness and affection to the young Essex, who was 
at that time twenty-one years of age. Eliza- 
beth herself was now nearly sixty. Cecil was 
growing old also, and was somewhat infirm, 
though he had a son who was rapidly coming 
forward in rank and influence at court. This 
son's name was Robert. The young Earl of 
Essex's name was Robert too. The elder Ce- 
cil and Leicester had been, all their lives, 
watchful and jealous of each other, and in some 
sense rivals. Robert Cecil and Robert Deve- 
reux — for that was, in full, the Earl of Essex's 
family name — being young and ardent, inherit- 
ed the animosity of their parents, and were less 
cautious and wary in expressing it. They soon 
became open foes. 

Robert Devereux, or Essex, as he is common- 
ly called in history, was handsome and accom- 
plished, ardent, impulsive, and generous. The 
war with Spain, notwithstanding the destruc- 
tion of the armada, continued, and Essex en- 
tered into it with all zeal. The queen, who, 

234 Queen Elizabeth. [1588. 

Elizabeth's regard for Essex. His impulsive bravery. 

with all her ambition, and her proud and dom- 
ineering spirit, felt, like any other woman, the 
necessity of havingsomething to love, soon be- 
gan to take a strong interest in his person and 
fortunes, and seemed to love him as a mother 
loves a son ; and he, in his turn, soon learned 
to act toward her as a son, full of youthful 
courage and ardor, often acts toward a mother, 
over whose heart he feels that he has a strong 
control. He would go away, without leave, to 
mix in affrays with the Spanish ships in the 
English Channel and in the Bay of Biscay, and 
then come back and make his peace with the 
queen by very humble petitions for pardon, and 
promises of future obedience. When he went, 
with her leave, on these expeditions, she would 
charge his superior officers to keep him out of 
danger ; while he, with an impetuosity which 
strongly marked his character, would evade and 
escape from all these injunctions, and press for- 
ward into every possible exposure, always eager 
to have battle given, and to get, himself, into 
the hottest part of it, when it was begun. At 
one time, off Cadiz, the officers of the English 
ships hesitated some time whether to venture 
an attack upon some ships in the harbor — Es- 
sex burning with impatience all the time — and 

1598.] The Earl of Essex. 235 

Essex's ardor for battle. His duel. 

when it was at length decided to make the at- 
tack, he was so excited with enthusiasm and 
pleasure that he threw his cap up into the air, 
and overboard, perfectly wild with delight, like 
a school-boy in anticipation of a holiday. 

Ten years passed away, and Essex rose high- 
er and higher in estimation and honor. He was 
sometimes in the queen's palaces at home, and 
sometimes away on the Spanish seas, where he 
acquired great fame. He was proud and im- 
perious at court, relying on his influence with 
the queen, who treated him as a fond mother 
treats a spoiled child. She was often vexed 
with his conduct, but she could not help loving 
him. One day, as he was coming into the 
queen's presence chamber, he saw one of the 
courtiers there who had a golden ornament upon 
his arm which the queen had given him the 
day before. He asked what it was ; they told 
him it was a " favor" from the queen. " Ah," 
said he, " I see how it is going to be ; every fool 
must have his favor." The courtier resented 
this mode of speaking of his distinction, and 
challenged Essex to a duel. The combatants 
met in the Park, and Essex was disarmed and 
wounded. The queen heard of the affair, and, 
after inquiring very curiously about all the par- 

236 Queen Elizabeth. [1598. 

Elizabeth's remark upon the duel. She gives Essex a ring. 

ticulars, she said that she was glad of it ; for, 
unless there was somebody to take down his 
pride, there would be no such thing as doing 
any thing with him. 

Elizabeth's feelings toward Essex fluctuated 
in strange alternations of fondness and displeas- 
ure. At one time, when affection was in the 
ascendency, she gave him a ring, as a talisman 
of her protection. She promised him that if he 
ever should become involved in troubles or diffi- 
culties of any kind, and especially if he should 
lose her favor, either by his own misconduct or 
by the false accusations of his enemies, if he 
would send her that ring, it should serve to re- 
call her former kind regard, and incline her to 
pardon and save him. Essex took the ring, and 
preserved it with the utmost care. 

Friendship between persons of such impetu- 
ous and excitable temperaments as Elizabeth 
and Essex both possessed, though usually very 
ardent for a time, is very precarious and uncer- 
tain in duration. After various petulant and 
brief disputes, which were easily reconciled, 
there came at length a serious quarrel. There 
was, at that time, great difficulty in Ireland ; 
a rebellion had broken out, in fact, which was 
fomented and encouraged by Spanish influence. 

1598.] The Earl op Essex. 237 

The quarrel. . The box on the ear. 

Essex was one day urging very strongly the ap- 
pointment of one of his friends to take the com- 
mand there, while the queen was disposed to 
appoint another person. Essex urged his views 
and wishes with much importunity, and when 
he found that the queen was determined not to 
yield, he turned his back upon her in a con- 
temptuous and angry manner. The queen lost 
patience in her turn, and, advancing rapidly to 
him, her eyes sparkling with extreme resent- 
ment and displeasure, she gave him a severe 
box on the ear, telling him, at the same time, to 
"go and be hanged." Essex was exceedingly 
enraged ; he clasped the handle of his sword, 
but was immediately seized by the other court- 
iers present. They, however, soon released 
their hold upon him, and he walked off out of 
the apartment, saying that he could not and 
would not bear such an insult as that. He 
would not have endured it, he said, from King 
Henry the Eighth himself. The name of King 
Henry the Eighth, in those days, was the sym- 
bol and personification of the highest possible 
human grandeur. 

The friends of Essex among the courtiers en- 
deavored to soothe and calm him, and to per- 
suade him to apologize to the queen, and seek 

238 Queen Elizabeth. [1598. 

Mortification of Essex. He and Elizabeth reconciled 

a reconciliation. They told him that, whether 
right or wrong, he ought to yield ; for in contests 
with the law or with a prince, a man, they 
said, ought, if wrong, to submit himself to jus- 
tice ; if right, to necessity; in either case, it 
was his duty to submit. 

This was very good philosophy; but Essex 
was not in a state of mind to listen to philoso- 
phy. He wrote a reply to the friend who had 
counseled him as above, that " the queen had 
the temper of a flint ; that she had treated him 
with such extreme injustice and cruelty so 
many times that his patience was exhausted, 
and he would bear it no longer. He knew well 
enough what duties he owed the queen as an 
earl and grand marshal of England, but he did 
not understand being cuffed and beaten like a 
menial servant ; and that his body suffered in 
every part from the blow he had received." 

His resentment, however, got soothed and 
softened in time, and he was again admitted to 
favor, though the consequences of such quar- 
rels are seldom fully repaired. The reconcil- 
iation was, however, in this case, apparently 
complete, and in the following year Essex was 
himself appointed the Governor, or, as styled in 
those days, the Lord Deputy of Ireland. 

1599.] The Earl of Essex. 239 

Essex sent to Ireland. Curious negotiations. 

He went to his province, and took command 
of the forces which had been collected there, 
and engaged zealously in the work of suppress- 
ing the rebellion. For some reason or other, 
however, he made very little progress. The 
name of the leader of the rebels was the Earl 
of Tyrone.* Tyrone wanted a parley, but did 
not dare to trust himself in Essex's power. 
It was at last, however, agreed that the two 
leaders should come down to a river, one of 
them upon each side, and talk across it, nei- 
ther general to have any troops or attendants 
with him. This plan was carried into effect. 
Essex, stationing a troop near him, on a hill, 
rode down to the water on one side, while Ty- 
rone came into the river as far as his horse could 
wade on the other, and then the two earls at- 
tempted to negotiate terms of peace by shout- 
ing across the current of the stream. 

Nothing effectual was accomplished by this 
and some other similar parleys, and in the mean 
time the weeks were passing away, and little, 
was done toward suppressing the rebellion. 
The queen was dissatisfied. She sent Essex 
letters of complaint and censure. These letters 
awakened the lord deputy's resentment. The 

* Spelled in the old histories Tir-Oen. 

240 Queen Elizabeth. [1599. 

The queen's displeasure. Essex's sudden return. 

breach was thus rapidly widening, when Essex 
all at once conceived the idea of going himself 
to England, without permission, and without 
giving any notice of his intention, to endeavor, 
by a personal interview, to reinstate himself in 
the favor of the queen. 

This was a very bold step. It was entirely 
contrary to military etiquette for an officer to 
leave his command and go home to his sover- 
eign without orders and without permission. 
The plan, however, might have succeeded. Lei- 
cester did once succeed in such a measure ; but 
in this case, unfortunately, it failed. Essex trav- 
eled with the utmost dispatch, crossed the Chan- 
nel, made the best of his way to the palace 
where the queen was then residing, and pressed 
through the opposition of all the attendants into 
the queen's private apartment, in his traveling 
dress, soiled and way-worn. The queen was 
at her toilet, with her hair down over her eyes. 
Essex fell on his knees before her, kissed her 
hand, and made great professions of gratitude 
and love, and of an extreme desire to deserve 
and enjoy her favor. The queen was astonished 
at his appearance, and Essex thought that she 
received him kindly. He went away after a 
short interview, greatly pleased with the pros- 

1599.] The Earl of Essex. 243 

Essex is arrested. Resentment and love. 

pect of a favorable issue to the desperate step 
he had taken. His joy, however, was soon dis- 
pelled. In the course of the day he was arrest- 
ed by order of the queen, and sent to his house 
under the custody of an officer. He had pre- 
sumed too far. 

Essex was kept thus secluded and confined 
for some time. His house was on the bank of 
the river. None of his friends, not even his 
countess, were allowed access to him. His im- 
petuous spirit wore itself out in chafing against 
the restraints and means of coercion which 
were pressing upon him ; but he would not sub- 
mit. The mind of the queen, too, was deeply 
agitated all the time by that most tempestuous 
of all mental conflicts, a struggle between re- 
sentment and love. Her affection for her proud- 
spirited favorite seemed as strong as ever, but 
she was determined to make him yield in the 
contest she had commenced with him. How 
often cases precisely similar occur in less con- 
spicuous scenes of action, where they who love 
each other with a sincere and uncontrollable af- 
fection take their stand in attitudes of hostili- 
ty, each determined that the obstinacy of the 
other shall give way, and each heart persisting 
in its own determination, resentment and love 

244 Queen Elizabeth. [1599. 

Essex's anger and chagrin. He is taken sick. 

struggling all the time in a dreadful contest, 
which keeps the soul in a perpetual commotion, 
and allows of no peace till either the obstinacy 
yields or the love is extinguished and gone. 

It was indirectly made known to Essex that 
if he would confess his fault, ask the queen's 
forgiveness, and petition for a release from con- 
finement, in order that he might return to his 
duties in Ireland, the difficulty could be settled. 
But no, he would make no concessions. The 
queen, in retaliation, increased the pressure 
upon him. The more strongly he felt the press- 
ure, the more his proud and resentful spirit was 
aroused. He walked his room, his soul boiling 
with anger and chagrin, while the queen, equal- 
ly distressed and harassed by the conflict in 
her own soul, still persevered, hoping every day 
that the unbending spirit with which she was 
contending would yield at last. 

At length the tidings came to her that Essex, 
worn out with agitation and suffering, was se- 
riously sick. The historians doubt whether his 
sickness was real or feigned ; but there is not 
much difficulty in understanding, from the cir- 
cumstances of the case, what its real nature 
was. Such mental conflicts as those which he 
endured suspend the powers of digestion and 

1599.] The Earl of Essex. 245 

Nature of Essex's sickness. The queen's anxiety. 

accelerate the pulsations of the heart, which 
beats in the bosom with a preternatural fre- 
quency and force, like a bird fluttering to get 
free from a snare. The result is a sort of fe- 
ver burning slowly in the veins, and an ema- 
ciation which wastes the strength away, and, 
in impetuous and uncontrollable spirits, like 
that of Essex, sometimes exhausts the powers 
of life altogether. The sickness, therefore, 
though of mental origin, becomes bodily and 
real ; but then the sufferer is often ready, in 
such cases, to add a little to it by feigning. 
An instinct teaches him that nothing is so like- 
ly to move the heart, whose cruelty causes him 
to suffer, as a knowledge of the extreme to 
which it has reduced him. Essex was doubt- 
less willing that Elizabeth should know that 
he was sick. Her knowing it had, in some 
measure, the usual effect. It reawakened and 
strengthened the love she had felt for him, but 
did not give it absolutely the victory. She sent 
eight physicians to him, to examine and con- 
sult upon his case. She caused some broth to 
be made for him, and gave it to one of these 
physicians to carry to him, directing the mes- 
senger, in a faltering voice, to say to Essex 
that, if it were proper to do so, she would have 

246 Queen Elizabeth. [1599. 

The queen's kindness to Essex. They are reconciled again. 

come to see him herself. She then turned away 
to hide her tears. Strange inconsistency of the 
human heart — resentment and anger holding 
their ground in the soul against the object of 
such deep and unconquerable love. It would 
be incredible, were it not that probably every 
single one of all the thousands who may read 
this story has experienced the same. 

Nothing has so great an effect in awakening 
in the heart a strong sentiment of kindness as 
the performance of a kind act. Feeling origi- 
nates and controls action, it is true, but then, 
on the other hand, action has a prodigious pow- 
er in modifying feeling. Elizabeth's acts of 
kindness to Essex in his sickness produced a 
renewal of her tenderness for him so strong 
that her obstinacy and anger gave way before 
it, and she soon began to desire some mode of 
releasing him from his confinement, and restor- 
ing him to favor. Essex was softened too. In 
a word, there was finally a reconciliation, though 
it was accomplished by slow degrees, and by 
means of a sort of series of capitulations. There 
was an investigation of his case before the privy 
council, which resulted in a condemnation of 
his conduct, and a recommendation to the mer- 
cy of the queen ; and then followed some com- 

1599.] The Earl of Essex. 247 

Essex's promises. The queen's ungenerous conduct. 

munications between Essex and his sovereign, 
in which he expressed sorrow for his faults, and 
made satisfactory promises for the future. 

The queen, however, had not magnanimity 
enough to let the quarrel end without taunting 
and irritating the penitent with expressions of 
triumph. In reply to his acknowledgments and 
professions, she told him that she was glad to 
hear of his good intentions, and she hoped that 
he would show, by his future conduct, that he 
meant to fulfill them ; that he had tried her 
patience for a long time, but she hoped that 
henceforth she should have no further trouble. 
If it had been her father, she added, instead of 
herself, that he had had to deal with, he would 
not have been pardoned at all. It could not be 
a very cordial reconciliation which was consum- 
mated by such words as these. But it was very 
like Elizabeth to utter them. They who are 
governed by their temper are governed by it 
even in their love. 

Essex was not restored to office. In fact, he 
did not wish to be restored. He said that he 
was resolved henceforth to lead a private life. 
But even in respect to this plan he was at the 
mercy of the queen, for his private income was 
in a great measure derived from a monopoly, as 

248 Queen Elizabeth. [1599. 

Essex's monopoly of wines. The queen refuses to renew it 

it is called, in a certain kind of wines, which 
had been granted to him some time before. It 
was a very customary mode, in those days, of 
enriching favorites, to grant them monopolies 
of certain kinds of merchandise, that is, the ex- 
clusive right to sell them. The persons to whom 
this privilege was granted would underlet their 
right to merchants in various parts of the king- 
dom, on condition of receiving a certain share 
of the profits. Essex had thus derived a great 
revenue from his monopoly of wines. The grant, 
however, was expiring, and he petitioned the 
queen that it might be renewed. 

The interest which Essex felt in the renewal 
of this grant was one of the strongest induce- 
ments to lead him to submit to the humilia- 
tions which he had endured, and to make con- 
cessions to the queen: But he was disappoint- 
ed in his hopes. The queen, elated a little with 
the triumph already attained, and, perhaps, de- 
sirous of the pleasure of humbling Essex still 
more, refused at present to renew his monopo- 
ly, saying that she thought it would do him 
good to be restricted a little, for a time, in his 
means. " Unmanageable beasts," she said, " had 
to be tamed by being stinted in their provender." 

Essex was sharply stung by such a refusal, 

1600.] The Earl of Essex. 249 

Essex made desperate. His treasonable schemes. 

accompanied, too, by such an insult. He was 
full of indignation and anger. At first he gave 
free expression to his feelings of vexation in 
conversation with those around him. The 
queen, he said, had got to be a perverse and ob- 
stinate old woman, as crooked in mind as she 
was in body. He had plenty of enemies to lis- 
ten to these speeches, and to report them in such 
a way as that they should reach the queen. A 
new breach was consequently opened, which 
seemed now wider than ever, and irreparable. 

At least it seemed so to Essex ; and, aban- 
doning all plans for again enjoying the favor of 
Elizabeth, he began to consider what he could 
do to undermine her power and rise upon the 
ruins of it. The idea was insanity, but passion 
always makes men insane. James, king of 
Scotland, the son and successor of Mary, was 
the rightful heir to the English throne after 
Elizabeth's death. In order to make his right 
of succession more secure, he had wanted to 
have Elizabeth acknowledge it ; but she, always 
dreading terribly the thoughts of death, could 
never bear to think of a successor, and seemed 
to hate every one who entertained any expec- 
tation of following her. Essex suppressed all 
outward expressions of violence and anger ; be- 

250 Queen Elizabeth. [1600. 

Ramifications of the plot. It is discovered. 

came thoughtful, moody, and sullen ; held se- 
cret consultations with desperate intriguers,- and 
finally formed a scheme to organize a rebellion, 
to bring King James's troops to England to sup- 
port it, to take possession of the Tower and of 
the strong-holds about London, to seize the pal- 
ace of the queen, overturn her government, and 
compel her both to acknowledge James's right 
to the succession and to restore Essex himself 
to power. 

The personal character of Essex had given 
him a very wide-spread popularity and influ- 
ence, and he had, consequently, very extensive 
materials at his command for organizing a pow- 
erful conspiracy. The plot was gradually ma- 
tured, extending itself, in the course of the few 
following months, not only throughout England, 
but also into France and Spain. The time for 
the final explosion was drawing near, when, as 
usual in such cases, intelligence of the exist- 
ence of this treason, in the form of vague ru- 
mors, reached the queen. One day, when the 
leading conspirators were assembled at Essex's 
palace, a messenger came to summon the earl 
to appear before the council. They received, 
also, private intelligence that their plots were 
probably discovered. While they were consid- 

1600.] The Earl of Essex. 251 

Anxious deliberations. The rising determined upon. 

ering what to do in this emergency — all in a 
state of great perplexity and fear — a person 
came, pretending to be a deputy sent from some 
of the principal citizens of London, to say to 
Essex that they were ready to espouse his 
cause. Essex immediately became urgent to 
commence the insurrection at once. Some of 
his friends, on the other hand, were in favor of 
abandoning the enterprise, and flying from the 
country; but Essex said he had rather be shot 
at the head of his bands, than to wander all his 
days beyond the seas, a fugitive and a vagabond. 
The conspirators acceded to their leader's 
councils. They sent word, accordingly, into 
the city, and began to make their arrangements 
to rise in arms the next morning. The night 
was spent in anxious preparations. Early in 
the morning, a deputation of some of the high- 
est officers of the government, with a train of 
attendants, came to Essex's palace, and de- 
manded entrance in the name of the queen. 
The gates of the palace were shut and guarded. 
At last, after some hesitation and delay, the 
conspirators opened a wicket, that is, a small 
gate within the large one, which would admit 
one person at a time. They allowed the officers 
themselves to enter, but shut the gate immedi- 

252 Queen Elizabeth. [1600. 

The hostages. Essex enters the city. 

ately so as to exclude the attendants. The offi- 
cers found themselves in a large court-yard fill- 
ed with armed men, Essex standing calmly at 
the head of them. They demanded what was 
the meaning of such an unusual assemblage. 
Essex replied that it was to defend his life from 
conspiracies formed against it by his enemies. 
The officers denied this danger, and began to 
expostulate with Essex in angry terms, and the 
attendants on his side to reply with vocifera- 
tions and threats, when Essex, to end the alter- 
cation, took the officers into the palace. He 
conducted them to a room and shut them up, 
to keep them as hostages. 

It was now near ten o'clock, and, leaving his 
prisoners in their apartment, under a proper 
guard, Essex sallied forth, with the more reso- 
lute and desperate of his followers, and pro- 
ceeded into the city, to bring out into action 
the forces which he supposed were ready to co- 
operate with him there. He rode on through 
the streets, calling to arms, and shouting, "For 
the queen ! For the queen !" His design was 
to convey the impression that the movement 
which he was making was not against the 
queen herself, but against his own enemies in 
her councils, and that she was herself on his 

1600.] The Earl op Essex. 253 

The proclamation. Essex unsuccessful. 

side. The people of London, however, could 
not be so easily deceived. The mayor had re- 
ceived warning before, from the council, to be 
ready to suppress the movement, if one should 
be made. As soon, therefore, as Essex and his 
company were fairly in the city, the gates were 
shut and barred to prevent his return. One of 
the queen's principal ministers of state too, at 
the head of a small troop of horsemen, came in 
and rode through the streets, proclaiming Essex 
a traitor, and calling upon all the citizens to 
aid in arresting him. One of Essex's followers 
fired a pistol at this officer to stop his procla- 
mation, but the people generally seemed dis- 
posed to listen to him, and to comply with his 
demand. After riding, therefore, through some 
of the principal streets, he returned to the 
queen, and reported to her that all was well in 
the city ; there was no danger that Essex would 
succeed in raising a rebellion there. 

In the mean time, the further Essex proceed- 
ed, the more he found himself environed with 
difficulties and dangers. The people began to 
assemble here and there with evident intent to 
impede his movements. They blocked up the 
streets with carts and coaches to prevent his es- 
cape. His followers, one after another, finding 

254 Queen Elizabeth. [1600. 

Essex's hopeless condition. He escapes to his palace. 

all hope of success gone, abandoned their de- 
spairing leader and fled. Essex himself, with 
the few who still adhered to him, wandered 
about till two o'clock, finding the way of retreat 
every where hemmed up against him. At 
length he fled to the river side, took a boat, 
with the few who still remained with him, and 
ordered the watermen to row as rapidly as pos- 
sible up the river. They landed at Westmin- 
ster, retreated to Essex's house, fled into it with 
the utmost precipitation, and barricaded the 
doors. Essex himself was excited in the high- 
est degree, fully determined to die there rather 
than surrender himself a prisoner. The terri- 
ble desperation to which men are reduced in 
emergencies like these is shown by the fact that 
one of his followers did actually station himself 
at a window bare-headed, inviting a shot from 
the pistols of the pursuers, who had by this time 
environed the house, and were preparing to force 
their way in. His plan succeeded. He was 
shot, and died that night. 

Essex himself was not quite so desperate as 
this. He soon saw, however, that he must soon- 
er or later yield. He could not stand a siege 
in his own private dwelling against the whole 
force of the English realm. He surrendered 

1600.] The Earl of Essex. 255 

Essex made prisoner, tried, and condemned. His remorse. 

about six in the evening, and was sent to the 
Tower. He was soon afterward brought to tri- 
al. The facts, with all the arrangements and 
details of the conspiracy, were fully proved, and 
he was condemned to die. 

As the unhappy prisoner lay in his gloomy 
dungeon in the Tower, the insane excitement 
under which he had for so many months been 
acting slowly ebbed away. He awoke from it 
gradually, as one recovers his senses after a 
dreadful dream. He saw how utterly irretriev- 
able was the mischief which had been done. 
Remorse for his guilt in having attempted to 
destroy the peace of the kingdom to gratify his 
own personal feelings of revenge ; recollections 
of the favors which Elizabeth had shown him, 
and of the love which she had felt for him, ob- 
viously so deep and sincere ; the consciousness 
that his life was fairly forfeited, and that he 
must die — to lie in his cell and think of these 
things, overwhelmed him with anguish and de- 
spair. The brilliant prospects which were so 
recently before him were all forever gone, leav- 
ing nothing in their place but the grim phan- 
tom of an executioner, standing with an ax b}^ 
the side of a dreadful platform, with a block 
upon it, half revealed and half hidden by the 
black cloth which covered it like a pall. 

256 Queen Elizabeth. [1600. 

Elizabeth's distress. The ring not sent. 

Elizabeth, in her palace, was in a state of 
mind scarcely less distressing than that of the 
wretched prisoner in his cell. The old conflict 
was renewed — pride and resentment on the one 
side, and love which would not be extinguished 
on the other. If Essex would sue for pardon, 
she would remit his sentence and allow him to 
live. Why would he not do it ? If he would 
send her the ring which she had given him for 
exactly such an emergency, he might be saved. 
Why did he not send it ? The courtiers and 
statesmen about her urged her to sign the war- 
rant ; the peace of the country demanded the 
execution of the laws in a case of such unques- 
tionable guilt. They told her, too, that Essex 
wanted to die, that he knew that he was hope- 
lessly and irretrievably ruined, and that life, if 
granted to him, was a boon which would com- 
promise her own safety and confer no benefit on 
him. Still Elizabeth waited and waited in an 
agony of suspense, in hopes that the ring would 
come ; the sending of it would be so far an act 
of submission on his part as would put it in her 
power to do the rest. Her love could bend her 
pride, indomitable as it usually was, almost to 
the whole concession, but it would not give up 
quite all. It demanded some sacrifice on his 

1600.] The Earl of Essex. 257 

The warrant signed. The platform. 

part, which sacrifice the sending of the ring 
would have rendered. The ring did not come, 
nor any petition for mercy, and at length the 
fatal warrant was signed. 

What the courtiers said about Essex's desire 
to die was doubtless true. Like every other 
person involved in irretrievable sufferings and 
sorrows, he wanted to live, and he wanted to 
die. The two contradictory desires shared do- 
minion in his heart, sometimes struggling to- 
gether in a tumultuous conflict, and sometimes 
reigning in alternation, in calms more terrible, 
in fact, than the tempests which preceded and 
followed them. 

At the appointed time the unhappy man was 
led out to the court-yard in the Tower where 
the last scene was to be enacted. The lieuten- 
ant of the Tower presided, dressed in a black 
velvet gown, over a suit of black satin. The 
" scaffold" was a platform about twelve feet 
square and four feet high, with a railing around 
it, and steps by which to ascend. The block 
was in the center of it, covered, as well as the 
platform itself, with black cloth. There were 
seats erected near for those who were appointed 
to be present at the execution. Essex ascend- 
ed the platform with a firm step, and, survey- 

258 Queen Elizabeth. [1600. 

Essex's last words. The closing scene. 

ing the solemn .scene around him with calmness 
ami composure, he began to speak. 

He asked the forgiveness of God;, of the spec- 
tators present, and of the queen, for the crimes 
for which he was about to sutler. He acknowl- 
edged his guilt, and the justice of his condem- 
nation. His mind seemed deeply imbued with 
a sense of his accountability to God, and he 
expressed a strong desire to be forgiven, for 
Christ's sake, for all the sins which he had com- 
mitted, which had been, he said, most numer- 
ous and aggravated from his earliest years. He 
asked the spectators present to join him in his 
devotions, and he then proceeded to offer a short 
prayer, in which he implored pardon for his sins, 
and a long life and happy reign for the queen. 
The prayer ended, all was ready. The execu- 
tioner, according to the strange custom on such 
occasions, then asked his pardon for the violence 
which he was about to commit, which Essex 
readily granted. Essex laid his head upon the 
block, and it required three blows to complete 
its severance from the body. When the deed 
was done, the executioner took up the bleeding 
head, saying solemnly, as he held it, " God save 
the queen." 

There were but few spectators present at this 

1600.] The Earl of Essex. 259 

The courtier. His fiendish pleasure. 

dreadful scene, and they were chiefly persons 
required to attend in the discharge of their offi- 
cial duties. There was, however, one excep- 
tion ; it was that of a courtier of high rank, who 
had long been Essex's inveterate enemy, and 
who could not deny himself the savage pleasure 
of witnessing his rival's destruction. But even 
the stern and iron-hearted officers of the Tower 
were shocked at his appearing at the scaffold. 
They urged him to go away, and not distress 
the dying man by his presence at such an hour. 
The courtier yielded so far as to withdraw from 
the scaffold ; but he could not go far away. He 
found a place where he could stand unobserved 
to witness the scene, at the window of a turret 
which overlooked the court-vard. 

260 Queen Elizabeth. [1600. 

Question of Kasex's guilt. General opinion of mankind. 


Chapter XII. 

The Conclusion. 

HERE can be no doubt that Essex was 
really guilty of the treason for which he was 
condemned, but mankind have generally been 
inclined to consider Elizabeth rather than him 
as the one really accountable, both for the crime 
and its consequences. To elate and intoxicate, 
in the first place, an ardent and ambitious boy, 
by flattery and favors, and then, in the end, on 
the occurrence of real or fancied causes of dis- 
pleasure, to tease and torment so sensitive and 
impetuous a spirit to absolute madness and 
phrensy, was to take the responsibility, in a 
great measure, for all the effects which might 
follow. At least so it has generally been re- 
garded. By almost all the readers of the story, 
Essex is pitied and mourned — it is Elizabeth 
that is condemned. It is a melancholy story ; 
but scenes exactly parallel to this case are con- 
tinually occurring in private life all around us, 
where sorrows and sufferings which are, so far 
as the heart is concerned, precisely the same, 

1601.] The: Conclusion. 261 

Elizabeth's distress. Fall of Essex's party. 

result from the combined action, or rather, per- 
haps, the alternating and contending action, of 
fondness, passion, and obstinacy. The results 
are always, in their own nature, the same, though 
not often on so great a scale as to make the 
wrong which follows treason against a realm, 
and the consequences a beheading in the Tower. 
There must have been some vague conscious- 
ness of this her share in the guilt of the trans- 
action in Elizabeth's mind, even while the trial 
of Essex was going on. We know that she 
was harassed by the most tormenting suspense 
and perplexity while the question of the execu- 
tion of his sentence was pending. Of course, 
when the plot was discovered, Essex's party 
and all his friends fell immediately from all in- 
fluence and consideration at court. Many of 
them were arrested and imprisoned, and four 
were executed, as he had been. The party 
which had been opposed to him acquired at once 
the entire ascendency, and they all, judges, 
counselors, statesmen, and generals, combined 
their influence to press upon the queen the ne- 
cessity of his execution. She signed one war- 
rant and delivered it to the officer ; but then, as 
soon as the deed was done, she was so over- 
whelmed with distress and anguish that she 

262 Queen Elizabeth. [1601. 

Wounds of the heart. Elizabeth's efforts to recover her spirits. 

sent to recall it, and had it canceled. Finally 
she signed another, and the sentence was exe- 

Time will cure, in our earlier years, most of 
the sufferings, and calm most of the agitations 
of the soul, however incurable and uncontrolla- 
ble they may at first appear to the sufferer. But 
in the later periods of life, when severe shocks 
strike very heavily upon the soul, there is found 
far less of buoyancy and recovering power to 
meet the blow. In such cases the stunned and 
bewildered spirit moves on, after receiving its 
wound, staggering, as it were, with faintness 
and pain, and leaving it for a long time uncer- 
tain whether it will ultimately rise and recover, 
or sink down and die. 

Dreadfully wounded as Elizabeth was, in all 
the inmost feelings and affections of her heart, 
by the execution of her beloved favorite, she 
was a woman of far too much spirit and ener- 
gy to yield without a struggle. She made the 
greatest efforts possible after his death to ban- 
ish the subject from her mind, and to recover 
her wonted spirits. She went on hunting ex- 
cursions and parties of pleasure. She prosecu- 
ted with great energy her war with the Span- 
iards, and tried to interest herself in the siejre 

1602.1 The Conclusion. 263 

Embassage from France. A conversation 

and defense of Continental cities. She receiv- 
ed an embassage from the court of France with 
great pomp and parade, and made a grand prog- 
ress through a part of her dominions, with a 
long train of attendants, to the house of a no- 
bleman, where she entertained the embassador 
many days in magnificent state, at her own 
expense, with plate and furniture brought from 
her own palaces for the purpose. She even 
planned an interview between herself and the 
King of France, and went to Dover to effect it. 

But all would not do. Nothing could drive 
the thoughts of Essex from her mind, or dispel 
the dejection with which the recollection of her 
love for him, and of his unhappy fate, oppressed 
her spirit. A year or two passed away, but 
time brought no relief. Sometimes she was 
fretful and peevish, and sometimes hopelessly 
dejected and sad. She told the French embas- 
sador one day that she was weary of her life, 
and when she attempted to speak of Essex as 
the cause of her grief, she sighed bitterly and 
burst into tears. 

When she recovered her composure, she told 
the embassador that she had always been un- 
easy about Essex while lie lived, and, knowing 
his impetuosity of spirit and his ambition, she 

264 Queen Elizabeth. [1G02. 

Thoughts of Essex. Harrington. 

had been afraid that he would one day attempt 
something which would compromise his life, and 
she had warned and entreated him not to be led 
into any such designs, for, if he did so, his fate 
would have to be decided by the stern authority 
of law, and not by her own indulgent feelings, 
but that all her earnest warnings had been in- 
sufficient to save him. 

It was the same whenever any thing occurred 
which recalled thoughts of Essex to her mind ; 
it almost always brought tears to her eyes. 
When Essex was commanding in Ireland, it 
will be recollected that he had, on one occasion, 
come to a parley with Tyrone, the rebel leader, 
across the current of a stream. An officer in 
his army, named Harrington, had been with 
him on this occasion, and present, though at a 
little distance, during the interview. After Es- 
sex had left Ireland, another lord-deputy had 
been appointed ; but the rebellion continued to 
give the government a great deal of trouble. 
The Spaniards came over to Tyrone's assist- 
ance, and Elizabeth's mind was much occupied 
with plans for subduing him. One day Har- 
rington was at court in the presence of the 
queen, and she asked him if he had ever seen 
Tyrone. Harrington replied that he had. The 

1602.] The Conclusion. 265 

The Countess of Nottingham. The ring. 

queen then recollected the former interview 
which Harrington had had with him, and she 
said, " Oh, now I recollect that you have seen 
him before !" This thought recalled Essex so 
forcibly to her mind, and filled her with such 
painful emotions, that she looked up to Har- 
rington with a countenance full of grief : tears 
came to her eyes, and she beat her breast with 
every indication of extreme mental suffering. 

Things went on in this way until toward the 
close of 1602, when an incident occurred which 
seemed to strike down at once and forever what 
little strength and spirit the queen had remain- 
ing. The Countess of Nottingham, a celebra- 
ted lady of the court, was dangerously sick, and 
had sent for the queen to come and see her, 
saying that she had a communication to make 
to her majesty herself, personally, which she 
was very anxious to make to her before she 
died. The queen went accordingly to see her. 

When she arrived at the bedside the count- 
ess showed her a ring. Elizabeth immediately 
recognized it as the ring which she had given 
to Essex, and which she had promised to con- 
sider a special pledge of her protection, and 
which was to be sent to her by him whenever 
he found himself in any extremity of danger 

26() Q U KEN E L I A A B E T II. [1 602. 

The Countess of Nottingham's confession. The queen's indignation. 

and distress. The queen eagerly demanded 
where it came from. The countess replied that 
Essex had sent the ring to her during his im- 
prisonment in the Tower, and after his con- 
demnation, with an earnest request that she 
would deliver it to the queen as the token of 
her promise of protection, and of his own sup- 
plication for mercy. The countess added that 
she had intended to deliver the ring according 
to Essex's request, but her husband, who was 
the unhappy prisoner's enemy, forbade her to 
do it ; that ever since the execution of Essex 
she had been greatly distressed at the conse- 
quences of her having withheld the ring ; and 
that now, as she was about to leave the world 
herself, she felt that she could not die ii) peace 
without first seeing the queen, and acknowl- 
edging fully what she had done, and imploring 
her forgiveness. 

The queen was thrown into a state of ex- 
treme indignation and displeasure by this state- 
ment. She reproached the dying countess in 
the bitterest terms, and shook her as she lay 
helpless in her bed, saying, " God may forgive 
you if he pleases, but 1 never will !" She then 
went away in a rage. 

Her exasperation, however, against the count- 

1603.1 The Conclusion. 267 

Bittor rgminiscences. The queen removes to Richmond. 

ess was soon succeeded by bursts of inconsola- 
ble grief at the recollection of the hopeless and 
irretrievable loss of the object of her affection, 
whose image the ring called back so forcibly to 
her mind. Her imagination wandered in wretch- 
edness and despair to the gloomy dungeon in 
the Tower where Essex had been confined, and 
painted him pining, there, day after day, in 
dreadful suspense and anxiety, waiting for her 
to redeem the solemn pledge by which she had 
bound herself in giving him the ring. All the 
sorrow which she had felt at his untimely and 
cruel fate was awakened afresh, and became 
more poignant than ever. She made them 
place cushions for her upon the floor, in the 
most inner and secluded of her apartments, and 
there she would lie all the day long, her hair 
disheveled, her dress neglected, her food refused, 
and her mind a prey to almost uninterrupted 
anguish and grief. 

In January, 1603, she felt that she was 
drawing toward her end, and she decided to be 
removed from Westminster to Richmond, be- 
cause there was there an arrangement of closets 
communicating with her chamber, in which 
she could easily and conveniently attend divine, 
service. She felt that she had now done with 

268 Queen Elizabeth. [1603. 

Elizabeth grows worse. The private chapel and the closets. 

the world, and all the relief and comfort which 
she could find at all from the pressure of her 
distress was in that sense of protection and safe- 
ty which she experienced when in the presence 
of God and listening to the exercises of devotion. 
It was a cold and stormy day in January 
when she went to Richmond ; but, being rest- 
less and ill at ease, she would not be deterred 
by that circumstance from making the journey. 
She became worse after this removal. She 
made them put cushions again for her upon the 
floor, and she would lie upon them all the day, 
refusing to go to her bed. There was a com- 
munication from her chamber to closets con- 
nected with a chapel, where she had been ac- 
customed to sit and hear divine service. These 
closets were of the form of small galleries, where 
the queen and her immediate attendants could 
sit. There was one open and public ; another 
— a smaller one — was private, with curtains 
which could be drawn before it, so as to screen 
those within from the notice of the congrega- 
tion. The queen intended, first, to go into the 
great closet ; but, feeling too weak for this, she 
changed her mind, and ordered the private one 
to be prepared. At last she decided not to at- 
tempt to make even this effort, but ordered the 

1603.] The Conclusion. 271 

The wedding ring. The queen's friends abandon her 

cushions to be put down upon the floor, near 
the entrance, in her own room, and she lay 
there while the prayers were read, listening to 
the voice of the clergyman as it came in to her 
through the open door. 

One day she asked them to take off the wed- 
ding ring with which she had commemorated 
her espousal to her kingdom and her people on 
the day of her coronation. The flesh had swoll- 
en around it so that it could not be removed. 
The attendants procured an instrument and cut 
it in two, and so relieved the finger from the 
pressure. The work was done in silence and 
solemnity, the queen herself, as well as the at- 
tendants, regarding it as a symbol that the un- 
ion, of which the ring had been the pledge, was 
about to be sundered forever. 

She sunk rapidly day by day, and, as it be- 
came more and more probable that she would 
soon cease to live, the nobles and statesmen 
who had been attendants at her court for so 
many years withdrew one after another from 
the palace, and left London secretly, but with 
eager dispatch, to make their way to Scotland, 
in order to be the first to hail King James the 
moment they should learn that Elizabeth had 
ceased to breathe. 

272 Queen Elizabeth. [1603. 

. . V 

The queen's voice fails. She calls her council together. 

Her being abandoned thus by these heartless 
friends did not escape the notice of the dying 
queen. Though her strength of body was al- 
most gone, the soul was as active and busy as 
ever within its failing tenement. She watched 
every thing — noticed every thing, growing more 
and more jealous and irritable just in propor- 
tion as her situation became helpless and for- 
lorn. Every thing seemed to conspire to deep- 
en the despondency and gloom which darkened 
her dying hours. 

Her strength rapidly declined. Her voice 
grew fainter and fainter, until, on the 23d of 
March, she could no longer speak. In the after- 
noon of that day she aroused herself a little, 
and contrived to make signs to have her coun- 
cil called to her bedside. Those who had not 
gone to Scotland came. They asked her whom 
she wished to have succeed her on the throne. 
She could not answer, but when they named 
King James of Scotland, she made a sign of as- 
sent. After a time the counselors went away. 

At six o'clock in the evening she made signs 
for the archbishop and her chaplains to come to 
her. They were sent for and came. When 
they came in, they approached her bedside and 
kneeled. The patient was lying upon her back 

1603.] The Conclusion. 273 

The chaplains. The prayers. 

speechless, but her eye, still moving watchfully 
and observing every thing, showed that the fac- 
ulties of the soul were unimpaired. One of the 
clergymen asked her questions respecting her 
faith. Of course, she could not answer in words. 
She made signs, however, with her eyes and 
her hands, which seemed to prove that she had 
full possession of all her faculties. The by- 
standers looked on with breathless attention. 
The aged bishop, who had asked the questions, 
then began to pray for her. He continued his 
prayer a long time, and then pronouncing a 
benediction upon her, he was about to rise, but 
she made a sign. The bisl'op did not under- 
stand what she meant, but a lady present said 
that she wished the bishop to continue his de- 
votions. The bishop, though weary with kneel- 
ing, continued his prayer half an hour longer. 
He then closed again, but she repeated the sign. 
The bishop, finding thus that his ministrations 
gave her so much comfort, renewed them with 
greater fervency than before, and continued his 
supplications for a long time — so long, that those 
who had been present at the commencement of 
the service went away softly, one after another, 
so that when at last the bishop retired, the queen 
was left with her nurses and her women alone. 

274 Queen Elizabeth. [1603. 

The queen's death. King Jamea proclaimed. 

These attendants remained at their dying sov- 
ereign's bedside for a few hours longer, watch- 
ing the failing pulse, the quickened breathing, 
. and all the other indications of approaching dis- 
solution. As hour after hour thus passed on, 
they wished that their weary task was done, 
and that both their patient and themselves were 
at rest. This lasted till midnight, and then the 
intelligence was communicated about the pal- 
ace that Elizabeth was no more. 

In the mean time all the roads to Scotland 
were covered, as it were, with eager aspirants 
for the favor of the distinguished personage 
there, who, from the instant Elizabeth ceased 
to breathe, became King of England. They 
flocked into Scotland by sea and by land, urg- 
ing their way as rapidly as possible, each eager 
to be foremost in paying his homage to the ris- 
ing sun. The council assembled and proclaim- 
ed King James. Elizabeth lay neglected and 
forgotten. The interest she had inspired was 
awakened only by her power, and that being 
gone, nobody mourned for her, or lamented her 
death. The attention of the kingdom was soon 
universally absorbed in the plans for receiving 
and proclaiming the new monarch from the 
North, and in anticipations of the splendid pa- 


Th'je Conclusion. 


Portrait of James the First. 

Burial of the queen. 

geantry which was to signalize his taking his 
seat upon the English throne, 

King James I. 

In due time the body of the deceased queen 
was deposited with those of its progenitors, in 
the ancient place of sepulture of the English 
kings, Westminster Abbey. Westminster iYb- 

276 Queen Elizabeth. [1603. 

Westminster Abbey. Its history. 

bey, in the sense in which that term is used in 
history, is not to be conceived of as a building, 
nor even as a group of buildings, but rather as 
a long succession of buildings like a dynasty, 
following each other in a line, the various struc- 
tures having been renewed and rebuilt con- 
stantly, as parts or wholes decayed, from cen- 
tury to century, for twelve or fifteen hundred 
years. The spot received its consecration at a 
very early day. It was then an island formed 
by the waters of a little tributary to the 
Thames, which has long since entirely disap- 
peared. Written records of its sacredness, and 
of the sacred structures which have occupied it, 
go back more than a thousand years, and be- 
yond that time tradition mounts still further, 
carrying the consecration of the spot almost to 
the Christian era, by telling us that the Apostle 
Peter himself, in his missionary wanderings, 
had a chapel or an oratory there. 

The spot has been, in all ages, the great bur- 
ial-place of the English kings, whose monu- 
ments and effigies adorn its walls and aisles in 
endless variety. A vast number, too, of the 
statesmen, generals, and naval heroes of the 
British empire have been admitted to the hon- 
or of having their remains deposited under its 

1603.] The Conclusion. 277 

The Poets' Corner. Henry the Seventh's Chapel. 

marble floor. Even literary genius has a lit- 
tle corner assigned it — the mighty aristocracy 
whose mortal remains it is the main function 
of the building to protect having so far conde- 
scended toward intellectual greatness as to al- 
low to Milton, Addison, and Shakspeare mod- 
est monuments behind a door. The place is 
called the Poets' Corner ; and so famed and cel- 
ebrated is this vast edifice every where, that the 
phrase by which even this obscure and insig- 
nificant portion of it is known is familiar to 
every ear and every tongue throughout the 
English world. 

The body of Elizabeth was interred in a part 
of the edifice called Henry the Seventh's Chap- 
el. The word chapel, in the European sense, 
denotes ordinarily a subordinate edifice connect- 
ed with the main body of a church, and open- 
ing into it. Most frequently, in fact, a chapel 
is a mere recess or alcove, separated from the 
area of the church by a small screen or gilded 
iron railing. In the Catholic churches these 
chapels are ornamented with sculptures and 
paintings, with altars and crucifixes, and other 
such furniture. Sometimes they are built ex- 
pressly as monumental structures, in which 
case they are often of considerable size, and are 

278 Queen Elizabeth. [1603. 

Elizabeth's monument. James. Mary's monument. 

ornamented with great magnificence and splen- 
dor. This was the case with Henry the Sev- 
enth's Chapel. The whole building is, in fact, 
his tomb. Vast sums were expended in the 
construction of it, the work of which extended 
through two reigns. It is now one of the most 
attractive portions of the great pile which it 
adorns. Elizabeth's body was deposited here, 
and here her monument was erected. 

It will be recollected that James, who now 
succeeded Elizabeth, was the son of Mary Queen 
of Scots. Soon after his accession to the throne, 
he removed the remains of his mother from their 
place of sepulture near the scene of her execu- 
tion, and interred them in the south aisle of 
Henry the Seventh's Chapel, while the body 
of Elizabeth occupied the northern one.* He 
placed, also, over Mary's remains, a tomb very 
similar in its plan and design with that by 
which the memory of Elizabeth was honored ; 
and there the rival queens have since reposed 
in silence and peace under the same paved floor. 
And though the monuments do not materially 

* See our history of Mary Queen of Scots, near the close. 
Aisles in English Cathedral churches are colonnades, or 
spaces between columns on an open floor, and not passages 
between pews, as with us. In monumental churches like 
Westminster Abbey there are no pews. 

Elizabeth's Tomb in Westminster Abbey. 

1603.1 The Conclusion. 281 

Feelings of visitors. Summary of Elizabeth's character. 

differ in their architectural forms, it is found 
that the visitors who go continually to the spot 
gaze with a brief though lively interest at the 
one, while they linger long and mournfully over 
the other. 

The character of Elizabeth has not generally 
awakened among mankind much commendation 
or sympathy. They who censure or condemn 
her should, however, reflect how very conspicu- 
ous was the stage on which she acted, and how 
minutely all her faults have been paraded to 
the world. That she deserved the reproaches 
which have been so freely cast upon her mem- 
ory can not be denied. It will moderate, how- 
ever, any tendency to censoriousness in our 
mode of uttering them, if we consider to how 
little advantage we should ourselves appear, if 
all the words of fretfulness and irritability which 
we have ever spoken, all our insincerity and 
double-dealing, our selfishness, our pride, our 
petty resentments, our caprice, and our count- 
less follies, were exposed as fully to the public 
gaze as were those of this renowned and glori- 
ous, but unhappy queen. 

The End.